A screenshot from video footage the Seattle Union Gospel Mission provided to local media outlets in its plea for Thanksgiving turkey donations.
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A screenshot from video footage the Seattle Union Gospel Mission provided to local media outlets in its plea for Thanksgiving turkey donations.
Credit: Courtesy of Seattle Union Gospel Mission

Good news! Seattle's Union Gospel Mission got enough turkeys to serve Thanksgiving

The turkey shortage is over at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. People around the Seattle area responded to the organization’s plea in early November for Thanksgiving turkeys and donated over 1,200 birds.

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission even has enough for leftovers now "which is awesome," said food service director Norm Hummel.

Hummel was interviewed on KUOW last week. Since then, community members have been driving up with donations, saying they heard him on the radio.

He remembers one couple from the Eastside he met this week in particular.

“They had ten turkeys in the back of their car, and you know they just came in, heard that we had a need for turkeys and brought them in," he said.

Most of the turkeys go to food banks or shelters, but the mission is keeping and cooking about 250 turkeys for their annual Thanksgiving meal. Hummel has a trick so the meat doesn’t dry out when it’s reheating: chicken broth.

“That’s the secret right there, putting a little bit of chicken broth in there, and then covering them up with kind of like a plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and that’ll keep the moisture in there and it’ll make it nice and juicy," he said.

The Union Gospel Mission started cooking the turkeys Monday in batches of 24 turkeys at a time.

They expect to have leftovers for lots of soup and turkey sandwiches later this year.

The shortage was caused by increasing demand on the mission and the organization’s partner food banks and shelters, Hummel said.

For example, when he first started ten years ago the mission served 450,000 meals a year, but that number has more than doubled as of last year.