(Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio 1030)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Seventy-four 25-pound turkeys. Seven hundred pounds of mashed potatoes. Fifty-one gallons of gravy.
That's what it takes to provide nearly 2,000 people at Pine Street Inn with a Thanksgiving dinner--and, as Pine Street Inn president Lyndia Downie told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe, that takes a lot of work from more than 200 volunteers.
"This meal is plated, so normally when we serve our meals here at Pine Street it's cafeteria-style," Downie said. "This is plated on China, we make it a lovely day for the guests, but it means we need a lot of help. Plating all that, cuting it all, cooking it, peeling, mashing."
There are also 402 pounds of stuffing, 212 pounds of cranberry sauce, and 521 pounds of corn and peas--and the dinner is topped off with 205 apple and pumpkin pies.
Volunteers were joined by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, who all helped carve and serve the turkey.
Mayor Walsh explained just exactly what this day means to him.
"Gratitute," he said. "Later on, I'll be sitting at the table and thinking about, beautiful family, beautiful home. Thinking about how not everyone has that, it forces me as mayor to push for it even harder, to make sure that people have the same opportunities that I've had and that other people have."
The tables were set with white linen, flowers, and hand-drawn placemats made by schoolchildren.
Downie said Thanksgiving can be a sad day for many of their guests.
"They're not with family and friends, everybody else is making plans to go home and be home with their loved ones," Downie said. "If you're here at Pine Street Inn, it's bittersweet. So we try to make it very nice and very festive."
She said the guests are grateful for the many volunteers and the hard work they do.
Rosenberg spoke to a group of volunteers about the importance of giving back.
"Actions speak a lot louder than words," he said. "We come here on this day because we want to be part of a caring community, helping those who may need a hand."
Pine Street residents Jeanie and Barbara got the helping hand they needed. They've been living at the shelter for several months, and are finally getting their own apartment together.
"Go from feeling worthless and having nothing, literally, to having keys," Jeanie said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reports