Celebrity chef Amanda Freitag knows a high-energy kitchen when she sees one. She loves the SoHo kitchen of God's Love We Deliver, where her cornbread stuffing recipe is being used to prepare more than 2,000 pounds of stuffing for 12,000 traditional Thanksgiving meals.
They are being prepared and delivered by God's Love We Deliver to New Yorkers too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Freitag has been involved with the organization since 2008 after hearing about it from a friend receiving the organization's medically-tailored meals.
"He was very sick and he used the services of [God's Love We Deliver] to get better," Freitag said.
The kitchen, which was founded at the height of the AIDS pandemic in the mid-1980s, is always busy. Leading up to Thanksgiving, it's especially bustling, but even more so now.
Around 30% more meals are being prepared and delivered this year compared to last year.
"The 12,000 meals go to our clients, their families, children or caregivers in the home, and every one of our clients gets a guest meal," Karen Pearl, president and CEO of the organization, said.
Pearl attributes the higher numbers to more clients being referred to them. Pearl stressed that they never turn someone away who is seeking their services.
"We bring people the meals they need to nourish them, and to help them heal," Pearl said.
The effort is backed by more than 1,000 volunteers.
"You can work in the kitchen. You can work in delivery. We are always in need of people who feel passionate about our mission here," Andre Daquigan, a chef at God's Love We Deliver, said.
To find out about volunteering or to donate $20 to fund a meal for a client and their guest through the "Celebrate With a Plate" program, click here.