County jail to prepare 26 turkeys to feed 400 for Thanksgiving

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
A detention officer walks through a hallway at the Grayson County Jail. The jail is preparing this week for Thanksgiving for the inmates.

Thursday when many in Grayson County will gather around tables with family, the Grayson County Jail will be doing the same, if in a somewhat different way.

And, cooks at the jail have been getting ready for the big meal for a few days now.

"Our kitchen officer and inmate workers prepare a traditional thanksgiving meal for the inmates Including turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and dessert, etc.," GCSO spokesperson Capt. Sarah Bigham.

That meal will be shared with approximately 400 inmates.

But, unlike family dinners at home, the inmates wont be allowed seconds at the Thanksgiving feast.  And while those housed at the jail can't go into the kitchen to make themselves a leftover turkey sandwich, the kitchen staff might serve leftovers "to make sure that we are getting the most out of the meals that we serve, when we can," Bigham said.

A photo of the dressing served to inmates at the Grayson County Jail last Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving meal will have to be cooked around the other meals they are required to serve each day and that it will be prepared by nine people including inmate workers and staff.

In addition to the inmates, approximately 25 jail staff will spend part of the holiday at the jail.

That staff often has traditions among their shifts on how to celebrate the time they spend together.

"One of the things that they do is bring food to share with other staff members," Bigham said.

The cooks plan to prepare about  twenty-six 10-12 lb. turkeys, 42 pounds of instant potatoes, as well as pans of dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce and rolls. Instead of pies, they will serve cookies and banana pudding for dessert.

A photo of the tray inmates at the Grayson County Jail received last Thanksgiving.