Many cooks fret over cooking a single turkey to feed their families on Thanksgiving.
For the kitchen staff of the Columbia County Detention Center, cooking for a jail full of inmates and staff and preparing meals for area senior citizens means whipping up hundreds of turkey dinners.
"The staff that is here on duty can't go out to go eat, so they (the kitchen staff) will make a few cakes and pies and make it a little nicer, and we make sure the inmates get a good meal," said Capt. Brett Carani, the detention center operations administrator.
Although the inmates always get a good meal, the cooks like to make sure they get a little extra on the holiday, he said.
For the kitchen staff, preparing a lot of meals is a daily routine.
"They prepare so many meals, and by knowing in advance when and what they're doing, they know what to do and when to do it," Carani said. "And they've been doing it for so long that they're pros at it."
They also make meals for the officers who will not be on duty Thanksgiving day.
"It really means a lot to people, even incarcerated, to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner," Carani said.
The county's senior citizens also benefit from the jail's kitchen staff.
The Senior Center has a contract with the jail to prepare meals for the elderly, and on Thanksgiving they will have turkey and dressing.
"There are 140 to 150 meals delivered per day for seniors that are not able to get out of their home," said Dee Tapley, the program coordinator for the county's Bessie Thomas senior center in Grovetown.
Tapley said they are thankful for the meals the detention center's kitchen staff make.
For many seniors, this is the one quality meal they get each day, Tapley said.
"We have a lot of food every day, but we have an abundance of food on Thanksgiving," Tapley said. "We try to make it special."
The cooks give many in the community the opportunity to partake in the turkey tradition.
"The little things mean a lot, even for people in jail," Carani said.
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