Disney Chef, Culinary Teams, and VoluntEARs Serve Thanksgiving Meal to Homeless in Central Florida

This fall, Disney is embracing the spirit of giving and share a little bit of magic with others throughout the Central Florida community. Thanks to Disney VoluntEARs and food and beverage teams, residents at the Coalition of the Homeless will enjoy a nutritious Thanksgiving dinner.

Disney VoluntEARs

UPDATE (11/21/2018):

  • This Thanksgiving, Disney culinary Cast Members and Disney VoluntEARs provided a hearty meal for those in need at the Coalition for the Homeless in Orlando, Florida.
  • From roasted turkey to dessert and everything in between, Chef Lenny DeGeorge, culinary director, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and his team created a Thanksgiving spread to remember for Coalition residents.
  • Disney VoluntEARs helped serve the special meal.
  • Additionally, the Disney Harvest Program collects excess and unserved food from across the resort and donates it to area organizations like the Coalition for the Homeless.
  • The organization also receives an annual community investment grant, in-kind donations, and the ongoing support of Disney VoluntEARs.

What they’re saying:

  • John Hearn, President/CEO of Coalition for the Homeless: “On any given day, more than 600 men, women, and children sit down for a warm and hearty meal at the Coalition, and when Disney is serving the meal, it’s always a favorite. We are beyond grateful when Disney comes to visit, and we love that they always bring a bit of magic to the table. Of course, it’s particularly special on Thanksgiving, and I know that everyone in the room is truly moved by the spirit of gratitude and generosity.”
  • Chef Lenny DeGeorge, culinary director, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: “There’s no greater joy for a chef than seeing somebody enjoy the food you made. Seeing the pure joy and happiness a fresh meal can bring someone, especially on a holiday and to someone who may not have been able to enjoy a good meal otherwise, is the very definition of Disney magic.”
  • Rena Langley, senior vice president of Walt Disney World public affairs: “In this season of giving, our Disney chefs embrace the opportunity to bring the magic of our theme parks to others in the Central Florida community, including the residents at Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.”


  • This Thanksgiving, Disney culinary Cast Members and Disney VoluntEARs will visit the Colition for the Homeless of Central Florida to cook and serve a delicious meal.
  • Led by Disney Chef, Lenny DeGeorge, Cast Members and volunteers will serve a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings to nearly 700 residents at the Coalition.
  • Chef DeGeorge is the culinary director at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. Together with Disney’s skilled culinary Cast Members this team will bring a little extra joy to those in need this holiday season.

Disney’s Partnership with Coalition for the Homeless: 

  • For the past 20 years, Walt Disney World food and beverage teams been visiting the Coalition twice each month to prepare a fresh, delicious meal—collectively serving 9,000 meals each year.
  • Coalition for the Homeless also receives food through the Disney Harvest program, a program in which unused, prepared food from restaurants and conventions across Walt Disney World Resort are collected and delivered to more than 60 Central Florida nonprofit organizations.

The Spirit of Giving:

  • Finally, this Thanksgiving, Disney is sharing a favorite kitchen recipe.
  • Fans looking for a little extra inspiration for their holiday meal planning will love this Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe.


Happy Thanksgiving!