A well-known chef in New York has volunteered to plan and prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for Occupy Wall Street protesters on Nov. 24.
Eric Smith, who used to work at Sheridan New York, a popular lux Manhattan hotel, but since joined the Occupy movement after he was laid off, told the New York Daily News that he'll prepare a traditional dinner for 1,000 hungry protesters on Thursday.
We hope on Thanksgiving we can bring solace to all these people, Smith told the Daily News. Get together. Give everyone an inspirational boost. These people need a chance to rejoice. It's been a rough two months.
The dinner will reportedly consist of 150 turkeys, 400 pounds of potatoes, 300 pounds of stuffing and 200 pounds of cranberry sauce. In addition, water and cider will be served
Smith hopes a benefactor will donate 300 pies for the Thanksgiving feast.
Smith joined the Occupy movement in mid-October, after losing his job as a chef. He survives on unemployment checks and camps out at the Occupy site.
For 38-year-old Smith, life's tough, but he wouldn't have it any other way.
Cooking for rich fat cats in Manhattan and trying to get the food out as fast as possible, making sure it's all perfect for them . . . The rich and poor being so separated, I always felt that was wrong, he told online news source RT in October. This is something that makes me feel like I can make a difference and make a change.
While the meals being served at Zuccotti Park are prepped at a soup kitchen in Brooklyn, where Smith is a volunteer, and then transported to the protest site, Smith hopes he can rouse people to leave the city and Lower Manhattan altogether for the meal. Smith told the Daily News he's hoping to hold it in a remote location, like Woodstock, N.Y. more than two hours away.
People need a chance to get away from the noise of the city, said Smith. We do plan on bringing everyone back.
So far, the Occupy Wall Street movement has raised $450,000 in donations, though they have only spent $55,000 total since the movement began, with food as the largest expense.
It's unclear whether or not the Thanksgiving feast will be funded from these donations.