Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama, joined by the entire first family, on Wednesday began the Thanksgiving holiday by serving dinner to the local homeless population and veterans at Friendship Place Homeless Center in Washington.
Earlier in the day, while taking part in the traditional turkey pardon, Obama said that he and the first family would “take some of the less fortunate turkey brothers” with them to serve up for dinner for homeless and at-risk veterans.
“It’s not only of the spirit of giving during this holiday season, but our national obligation to make sure all those who serve and sacrifice for our country have a place to call home,” Obama said from the Rose Garden. “My administration considers this one of our top priorities, making sure that we’re bringing about the reality of zero homelessness for our veterans.”
Obama was in charge of serving turkey and gravy to the veterans and other homeless people, while first lady Michelle Obama served up vegetables. Daughters Sasha and Malia gave out other holiday favorites including mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberries.
Friendship Place Homeless Center received a $3.1 million dollar grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015 for veteran homelessness capacity-building.