Westonka Food Shelf and American Legion Post 398 are once again hosting the annual Thanksgiving Meal after having to take a pandemic-induced hiatus last year. (Laker Pioneer archives)

The smoke and smell of 40 roasting turkeys will bloom over central Mound early on Thanksgiving Day.

Back this year after a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020 is the annual Thanksgiving Meal put on by the Mound American Legion, Westonka Food Shelf, Westonka DECA, Northwest Tonka Lions and area churches, businesses and volunteers.

“A whole bunch of people come together and help,” said Heidi Schmidt, assistant director for the food shelf, adding that many who had come to rely on the meal for seasonal cheer had missed it last year.

Past years have served more than 300 people at a time, giving to those without a place to go on Thanksgiving the option of having a traditional meal and good company.

Schmidt said that any leftovers will, as in years past, be brought back to Westonka Food Shelf and distributed to food shelf patrons the next day.

This year’s Thanksgiving Meal will be from 12-4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25 at American Legion Post 398 (2333 Wilshire Blvd., Mound). There is no cost to attend and no need to register for the meal. If you wish to volunteer for this event, you can access the sign-up genius at http://bit.ly/3aFHVSD.

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