DAVENPORT, Iowa -
Thanksgiving arrives early this year at Kings Harvest in Davenport.
Volunteers from Deere & Company pause to pray before opening the meal site on Friday, November 18, 2016.
Brian Keil is among the nearly 100 guests returning for lunch.
"There's a lot of families that don't have the funding for food," he said.
The meal site at 824 W. 3rd St. in Davenport was forced to close on October 6, 2016. A tornado ripped off a new roof and caused damage on the upper floors.
Dozens of volunteers pitched in with hands-on work to save the shelter.
"You get thrown in, and you start working," said volunteer Shari Dague.
The shelter will reopen on December 1, 2016. But Saturday's expected frigid weather arrives too soon to beat the cold.
"It's horrible that they don't have anywhere to go yet," said Assistant Director Brandi Anderson. "We wish we could do something about that. We're hoping that other shelters will be able to house them during the transition."
While work continues on the upper floors, the shelter will move downstairs.
"We usually have the women on second floor and men on first floor," she continued. "They both will be on first floor, but in separate areas."
While insurance covers some of the damage, Kings Harvest also needs cash donations.
For ways to help, contact: http://www.kingsharvest.net.
Inside the kitchen, it's business as usual. That's good news for volunteers like Kara Shinn.
"Help the people that are less fortunate," she said. "Make sure that everybody gets fed."
Kings Harvest had to suspend its turkey distribution in 2016, but it will host an early Thanksgiving luncheon at noon on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.
"The people tell us they really missed us," said Ellie Shinn, Kings Harvest. "It's very important, not only because of the meals we offer but also the fellowship."
Fellowship from reopening the meal site that makes a big difference this holiday season.
"I'm thankful they did that," Keil concluded.
Thanksgiving gratitude served up in big portions at Kings Harvest.