NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Local group "Feeding 5,000" is gearing up to, you guessed it, feed 5,000 people this Thanksgiving at the United House of Prayer in Newport News. 

Volunteers have been collecting donations all month. Starting this Wednesday, they'll be cooking all day until the big event on Saturday at noon.

Feeding 5,000 Founder and Organizer Andrew Shannon said last year, his group served more than 5,000 meals and they're expecting a similar crowd, this year

He said between the meals and the families, over 5,876 meals were served and 500 food baskets were given out.

“And it’s free! Did I mention its free? F-R-E-E," Shannon added

The food baskets contain canned and boxed goods for families to take with them along with their thanksgiving dinner.

“We are actually collecting donations all the way to the day of the event because after we serve a hot delicious meal, we give away food baskets so that families can go home and prepare their own Thanksgiving dinner,” Shannon explained. 

They’re storing the food in the commercial kitchen at The Alley nightclub.

A team of volunteers will prepare 200 turkeys, pounds of stuffing and mac and cheese and more than one thousand cans each of string beans, corn, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.

Shannon has been leading the effort for nearly 20 years. He said it's all about "service to humanity." 

If you want to donate food for the Thanksgiving event, you can drop off donations at The Alley.

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