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Mozel Sanders Foundation needs more kitchens to help cook Thanksgiving meals

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — We’re just a few weeks away for the Mozel Sanders Foundation’s huge annual Thanksgiving Day meal, as the foundation prepares to feed thousands once again.

For the last 36 years, Cullen Simpson has volunteered as a chef for the meal giveaway. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit central Indiana.

“Did not see this coming,” Simpson said.

In years past, the foundation has cooked thousands of meals, with the help of a ton of volunteers.

Simpson told News 8 that usually those Thanksgiving meals are cooked at Atherton Hall on campus at Butler University. But this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the building isn’t available.

Even so, the show must go on, and as many hungry Hoosiers as possible have to be fed this Thanksgiving, as the pandemic has left so many people out of work.

“Because of the pandemic, the need is greater this year, and unfortunately, we just don’t have the resources like we’ve had in the past, but we didn’t want to just bow down. We want to make sure we can reach as many people as we can,” Simpson said.

That’s why they need help. The chef says around 11 places have volunteered to open up their kitchens, the foundation needs more.

They’re asking for restaurant kitchens and catering kitchens that have the capacity to prepare those meals and box them for distribution.

Those kitchens, Simpson said, should have a convection oven, stovetop burners and possibly some steamers.

“Right now, we’re sitting at about 5,500 confirmed dinners to be prepared. We want a minimum of 10,000. So, we’re looking for another 4,500 volunteer dinner prepares,” Simpson said.

Simpson told News 8 that he hopes those open slots get filled by the end of next week.

For more information on how you can help, call Simpson at 317-809-5721.

For more information, send an email to This website lets people fill out a form to sign up to be volunteers.

Anyone who would like to receive a Thanksgiving meal can call the dinner line at 317-636-7985 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. through Nov. 15.