Micah Fecher, of Seattle, is currently staying at the Beacon of Hope men's shelter.
Many of his meals are eaten at The Salvation Army Corps in downtown Fort Dodge.
"I come here every day," he said.
Volunteers Zackery Anderson, left, and Keith Kolacia, right, put the finishing touch onto a serving tray loaded with turkey and all the fixings at The Salvation Army Corps Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. Fellow volunteer Joan Wilson is ready with another tray between them.
He's traveled a long road; he said he was homeless in Seattle before coming to stay with a family friend in the area. A stint at Iowa Central Community College didn't work out well.
Thursday was a different meal for him.
"I didn't know it was going to be special," he said.
A group of volunteers took care of serving, cooking and cleaning up.
Fecher was impressed.
"When the community is asked," he said, "the community delivers."
Two of the helpers were Audrey Kolacia, 13, and her brother Cael, 10.
"I think that it's really fun helping other people to have a happy Thanksgiving," Cael Kolacia said.
Audrey Kolacia was enjoying meeting new people.
"It's fun to talk to people," she said.
Their dad, Keith Kolacia, was also busy helping.
"We've been fortunate," he said, "We want them to learn to give back."
He said he thought it was a good experience.
"It helps round themselves out a be a better person," he said.
Crystal Holmes, of Fort Dodge, enjoyed the Thanksgiving meal with members of her family including her daughter, Karmen, 3.
Holmes said she enjoyed not having to cook.
Her daughter's verdict on the dinner?
"She liked the ham and the potatoes and the pie," she said.
Capt. Carol Cook said that on a normal day, The Salvation Army Corps feeds about 100 to 150 people. Turnout for the Thanksgiving meal was early and heavy.
"We've had 82 already," she said about 30 minutes after the doors opened.
She also said that food donations for the meal were down quite a bit.
"We had to buy a lot of the food," she said.
They're particularly in need of nonperishable items for the Christmas baskets, she said.
In general, donations have been slow this year.
"The needs are great," she said. "There's a lot we're trying to accomplish."
One thing they were not short of Thursday were volunteers. She said about 60 people came to help.
Two of those were Sarah Caldwell and Matt Tindall, both from Humboldt.
They were spending the day taking meals to those not able to come downtown. Both are from Pennsylvania and were not able to travel home to spend the day with family.
"This took my mind off missing my family for Thanksgiving," Caldwell said.