Hope Was On The Menu This Thanksgiving

Service and smiles: Darryl Jones, left, of Apopka talks with Nancy Nelson and Johnnie Lee Anderson at a Thanksgiving celebration at the Campbell Park Recreation Center in St. Petersburg, the 39th annual Thanksgiving meal at this location. CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Service and smiles: Darryl Jones, left, of Apopka talks with Nancy Nelson and Johnnie Lee Anderson at a Thanksgiving celebration at the Campbell Park Recreation Center in St. Petersburg, the 39th annual Thanksgiving meal at this location. CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

By Will Hobson, Times Staff Writer Tampa Bay Times In Print: Friday, November 23, 2012

Gay Inskeep, the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court administrator, always wanted to organize a big Thanksgiving dinner for those in need. Twelve years ago her husband, Paul, pushed her to finally make it happen.

About 40 people showed up that first year, Inskeep said Thursday. As the ranks have grown since — 375 last year, and a similar crowd was expected Thursday — so has the amount of donated food. Thursday’s spread, prepared and served by a team of about 50 volunteers, included 26 turkeys, 100 pounds of mashed potatoes, 80 pounds of sweet potatoes and more than 40 pies.

A few years ago the Inskeeps added the “Free Market” — a few tables out front where they give away donated clothing and toiletries. The event is always held at Inskeep’s church, but she emphasizes it’s nonreligious.

“I like giving back, but I also like seeing the connections between strangers,” said Inskeep, 50, of Treasure Island. Read more

 

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