SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A local chef and restaurant owner is hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner.

After years of volunteering on Thanksgiving in downtown Springfield, he decided there was a need for something similar in another part of the city.

"The prep is always the hardest part of the meal," local chef and restaurant owner Kelly Dobbins tells us.

For Dobbins, food has always been a big part of his life, but his true passion is sharing his food with the community.

"I think community is number one. I'm always trying to support the effort in the community," stated Dobbins.

That's why on the biggest food holiday of the year, he spends it giving back.

"Normally, I go down to Commerce to help them get the Thanksgiving dinner down there done, but this year, I wanted to do something a bit different. They are focusing on one side of town, but this side of town gets neglected, so I decided I was going to do a Thanksgiving dinner here in Indian Orchard," explained Dobbins.

It's a free meal for anyone from anywhere, but it's in a location that's accessible for people local to Indian Orchard.

"I choose to do it at the Covenant Church. 95 Berkshire Street in Indian Orchard. I think all the surrounding areas can walk to get there and it's not a big deal with transportation," said Dobbins.

Kelly's goal is to feed 300 mouths on Thanksgiving Day, a goal that will take a lot of helping hands.

Kelly put Western Mass News to work, showing us all that goes into cooking for a crowd.

"We've got to cook about 10-13 turkeys. We'll have stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing. We'll have a lot of desserts as well," continued Dobbins.

And he says there are plenty of gloves available for anyone who'd like to pitch in.

"We have a community that we all need to be apart of. I encourage anyone that's out there, even if you come out for only thirty minutes, just to serve and help out. It's greatly appreciated," added Dobbins.

If you'd like to donate or volunteer, you can call Kelly at 413-543-1718.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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