WINNIPEG -- It’s an opportunity to turn the tables and break bread with those less fortunate in the community.

Siloam Mission’s annual Thanksgiving meal took place Friday at the drop-in centre on Stanley street. Guests get to enjoy a full-service, sit-down meal complete turkey, mashed potatoes and pie.

Long-time volunteer Brendan Madden said he started with Siloam 15 years ago at the request of his wife, but after being so impressed with the organization he kept coming back.

“It’s very special for them because normally every other time of the year they are lining up for all three meals,” he said.

This year’s meal took a tone of reconciliation with the theme of a ‘Meal to Heal.’

Gilbert Fredette, former vice-chief of Norway House Cree Nation, started this new initiative.

“Reconciliation starts one meal at a time, one story at a time. Getting to know the people that come through the doors, getting to know their culture, their stories, that’s where true reconciliation starts,” he said.

While the meal only lasts at couple of hours, the prep takes a few weeks. Over 150 turkey breasts and 600 pounds of potatoes are prepared for 1200 guests, and nothing is wasted. Any leftovers are turned into stews and sandwiches to be served up tomorrow. 

Eight hundred to 1000 Thanksgiving meals are usually served each year.