The Saskatoon Friendship Inn is getting ready for what could be one of its busiest weekends on record.
Lynda Brazeau, CEO of the Inn is estimating Monday’s holiday will be one of best attended dinners, as the organization has seen demand jump in the last six months.
“We’re serving a lot more than we did ever before,” said Brazeau. “Even six months ago we were serving 400 to 500 on busy, busy days—and now, we serve 700, up to 1,000.”
She continued, “So, for Thanksgiving … we’ll probably get between 1,500 and 2,000 people.”
When asked if these were record numbers, Brazeau replied, “There’s no question about it.”
Offering a free ham dinner with scalloped potatoes, the work involved with preparing such a large meal is extensive and more than 350 volunteers will help with the preparation and execution of the meal.
“On a day-to-day basis here at the Inn it’s like a cafeteria style when you come in, but on Thanksgiving, we set up more formal, we seat our guests and we serve them … and that takes lots of volunteers,” she said.
Brazeau said although those in need face a number of issues, they’re extremely thankful.
“When they come to the Friendship Inn or anywhere else, there’s no choice,” said Brazeau. “They wait and they get what they get—so on days like this, when they know it’s a special day and it’s all planned for them … they just love it and they’re so grateful.”
Although the Friendship Inn has 65 hams and roughly 300 pounds of potatoes, they’re still looking for donations of pumpkin pie and 50 cans of whipped cream.