Cooking for 1,800: MANNA’s kitchen on Thanksgiving morning [photos]

    Before the sun rose on Thanksgiving Day, the kitchen at MANNA was bustling. Volunteers and staff were busy preparing 1,800 traditional Thanksgiving meals for critically ill clients and their families.

    Around 10 a.m., additional volunteers arrived in their cars at the loading dock of the MANNA building on Ranstead Street, ready to deliver the meals.

    Turkeys with all the trimmings, along with MANNA pies for desert, were delivered warm and ready to eat to families in the Philadelphia area living with AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

    Gerry Jipski said when he started working with MANNA in 1992, there were only 20 volunteers. On Thursday, 250 volunteers participated in the effort. Many have made it a family tradition, getting their children and grandchildren involved.

    MANNA, with its small professional staff and 1,500 volunteers, works throughout the year bringing nutritional meals to the critically ill. PECO energy company paid for the cost of the holiday meals.

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