Food & Friends prepare meals for those in need

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - It runs like a well-oiled machine, fine-tuned for the Thanksgiving holiday. Every year, Food & Friends cranks out more than 3,000 meals for people like Tricia Ripley, who has been in a wheelchair for 42 years.

Her condition makes preparing a traditional turkey dinner nearly impossible.

"This is a miracle," she says.

Early Thursday morning, an army of selfless volunteers worked to prepare the meals, which will include nearly 10,000 lbs. of turkey – not to mention pies and stuffing.

Each meal feeds four people, and clients typically have HIV/AIDS and cancer.

"Things are not good," explains Executive Director of Food & Friends Craig Schniderman. "Employment remains an issue. Their financial circumstance are tough and when they are sick they need Food & Friends."

Tammy Bish is the delivery person for Tricia Ripley’s meal. This is her 16th year volunteering on Thanksgiving.

"I just know that these people need to see friends time after time, and it's just a small part of my day," says Bish.

Ripley will share her Thanksgiving meal with her caregiver, knowing that it was prepared with love by strangers.

"It's beautiful," she says. "It's perfect. It's perfect."