Inmates Prepare Turkeys for the Hungry
11/04/2011
WHAG-TV - Online

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HAGERSTOWN, MD - Inmates unloaded hundreds of frozen turkeys in Hagerstown Friday.

The Maryland Correctional Enterprises' Meat Plant prepares these turkeys every year for a Thanksgiving dinner in Baltimore.

A woman named Bea Gaddy started the dinner thirty years ago after winning money on a lottery scratch off ticket. Her first dinner fed 49 of her neighbors. Now, it's one of the largest Thanksgiving meals for the hungry in the nation, usually feeding around 50,000 people.

The turkeys will thaw over the weekend and inmates will begin preparing them next week before they're sent to Baltimore.

"It's a privilege for us to give back to others," inmate Calvin McNeill said. "Just by being incarcerated, people think we can't really do anything, but we help out a lot of families during the holidays. It could be one of our families that we're helping to feed this year."

MCE has been preparing these turkeys for about 20 years. They started when the dinner got a little too big for Gaddy to handle.