ORLANDO, Fla. — Hundreds of people in need will get to have a Thanksgiving meal thanks to a Disney World culinary team.

What You Need To Know

  • Disney World culinary team prepares traditional holiday meal

  • The meal will feed residents at Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida

  • Disney is also donating $20,000 collected from fountains throughout its resort

Executive Chef James O’Donnell and his team have whipped up a traditional meal of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, stuffing, salads, rolls, cranberry sauce and dessert.

The meal will be served at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, feeding the nearly 650 men, women and children staying at its facilities.  

It’s a partnership that dates back 20 years, with Disney’s culinary teams preparing meals to feed residents at the Coalition. And despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the team is making sure the tradition continues this year.

"There’s something special about gathering around the dinner table for a warm meal made with love — especially for our homeless neighbors in need who have fallen on hard times," said Meredith Bekemeyer, director of development for Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. "This year has been challenging for everyone, and even more so for those facing the crisis of homelessness. We’re so grateful to Disney for continuing this longstanding tradition."

In addition to the meals, Disney is also donating hundreds of to-go containers as well as $20,000 to the Coalition. The money was collected from the various fountains throughout Disney World.

“Every year, thousands of guests toss coins into fountains at our Resort and make a wish, and this year the funds collected from those fountains are being given to the Coalition to help make their annual Thanksgiving meal service possible,” Disney said in on its official Parks Blog.

Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provides crucial programs and services to homeless people in the area.