DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Volunteers at the Durham Rescue Mission are working Wednesday afternoon into Thanksgiving day to make sure everyone can have a Thanksgiving feast. The non-profit is hosting its Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner for anyone in need. 

About 500 volunteers are helping out, and some of them are cooking the 150 turkeys for the feast. This is Jim Matthews’ 15th year helping out.

“As I got down and started meeting a lot of the people and the volunteers and stuff here, it’s just something here to give back and we interact a lot with the residents and stuff here, so it’s really a good way to come down and kind of help them kind of see that the community wants to give back to them and love them,” Matthews said.

In addition to a warm meal, people will receive bags of groceries, clothing and $50 gift cards to the Mission’s thrift stores. There will also be prize drawings for a TV, other electronics and bicycles.

Rob Tart is the CEO of the Durham Rescue Mission.

“We call this the biggest gathering of the haves and the have nots here,” Tart said. “‘Cause there’s gonna be people here volunteering that are well-off if you will in this world, and there’s gonna be people here tomorrow that are not very well-off in this world, but we’re gonna be getting together and have a big Thanksgiving meal together.”

Tart said the Mission is seeing an increase in demand for its services this year.

“Here at the Rescue Mission our population has increased by 30 percent already, that’s compared to the highs last year, and we’re not even in the cold weather yet,” he said.

They’re prepared to serve 2,000 people this Thanksgiving. One of them is Darrell Williams, who began living at the Mission three weeks ago.

“Thank God I’m not where I used to be, I’m trying to get to where I’m going, and I’m doing it by being here at the Mission,” Williams said.

Several of the volunteers behind the grill will be cooking the turkeys overnight.

Click here for more information about the meal.