Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time for giving thanks for what blessings life has given one with friends and family. A local soup kitchen hopes to keep the tradition alive for those who might go without it this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time for giving thanks for what blessings life has given one with friends and family. A local soup kitchen hopes to keep the tradition alive for those who might go without it this Thanksgiving.


The Grand Central Station Dining Car, located at 110 S. Throckmorton in Sherman, will be providing a free Thanksgiving meal today from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m to anyone who wishes to come to have share the meal.


The soup kitchen has been providing free meals to residents in Sherman for the past three years.


Today’s menu features all the Thanksgiving staples: turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cranberry sauce among others.


While Ben Merrill, a retired restaurateur, caterer and current food manager for Grand Central Station, knows that other locations in the area will be serving Thanksgiving meals, he is convinced that Grand Central will be serving the best.


"It is different than the restaurant business, but I do take pride in the food," said Merrill.


Merrill said he is expecting about 130 people to come for Thanksgiving lunch. He said that exceeds the 108 people who came for Thanksgiving meals last year.


Food for the meals has been provided by the North Texas Youth Commission in Sherman, the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, and private donations. Merrill estimates that about 90 percent of the food comes from direct donations, keeping food costs low for the soup kitchen.


Merrill stressed that services aren’t just for the homeless, but anyone who may want a meal and company.


"It is better than going to a restaurant alone," he said.


The soup kitchen has more than enough volunteers and plenty of food for the lunch service, said Merrill.


Outside of the meals the Grand Central Station Dining Car provides, the group provides additional services daily. They provide laundry services, toiletries and showers so that people can keep themselves and their clothes clean.


Merrill said he is thankful for the other charities and organizations that provide assistance in the community. He said that each group helps fill the gaps of service that the other groups cannot provide.


"We all kind of work together as a unit," he said. "If I can’t use (goods) here, I am going to find someone that can."