Everything but the Turkey

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Days before Thanksgiving, about 90 people met in the parking lot of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center to package food for DC Central Kitchen and help people who are experiencing hunger and homelessness.

In years past, hundreds of participants in what’s called “Everything but the Turkey” prepared more than 10,000 servings of Thanksgiving dishes. Last week’s event was stripped down. Volunteers packed bags of dry goods, including pasta, rice, beans and a set of cooking instructions.


“Even though this setup is the easiest, it was the most stressful,” said Sonya Weisburd, the center’s director of social justice and volunteer programs, who has facilitated the event for the past six years.

Families and young adults took part, and there were many first-time volunteers, including new CEO Dava Schub and her daughter.

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The Whiting-Eisemann family were also volunteering for the first time. One family member said they “wanted to do it for several years, but this is the first year that the schedule allowed it.”

The end of the day was reserved for young adult volunteers. Cara, Danna and Monica, three friends from the District who did not want to give their last names, said they were participating in Everything but the Turkey for the second time.


“We actually met here last year,” Cara said as she measured dry pasta into a plastic bag.

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