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Picture the perfect Thanksgiving.

Now take away the food, the family and friends, and the laughter. What’s left is the harsh reality faced by those who are less fortunate: a lonely holiday without the grand feast most Americans take for granted. Two Dutchess County residents — WHVH-AM radio host John Flowers, and Daniel Hickey of Rhinebeck — organize an annual Thanksgiving dinner for those who would otherwise go without. Hickey (whose late wife, former Dutchess County Assemblywoman Eileen Hickey, is the dinner’s namesake) says the feast honors the holiday’s meaning: “I think there’s a lot of gratitude and goodwill between the people who take time out of their holiday to serve, and those who come to have dinner.” Dutchess Outreach’s Lunchbox soup kitchen in Poughkeepsie hosts the dinner on turkey day from 12-4 p.m. Here’s a look at last year’s edition of this long-running charity event:

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Number of years the dinner has been held (approximately)
500
Guests who attended the 2008 feast
300
Volunteers who helped prepare and serve the meal
900
Pounds of turkey served
11⁄2
Days needed to roast the turkeys
100
Pounds of ham prepared
54
Pumpkin pies gobbled for dessert
$6,000
Estimated cost of the feast (all funded by donations)
$0
Cost to guests for the meal

 

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