Volunteers work around the clock to prepare Thanksgiving meals for Camp Fire evacuees

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Volunteers have been working non-stop to get thousands of Thanksgiving meals ready for Camp Fire evacuees. (KGo-TV)

Volunteers have been working non-stop to get thousands of Thanksgiving meals ready for Camp Fire evacuees. It's bringing challenges, rewards, and gallons of gravy.

Daniel Grice is the executive chef at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico. He can be a tough critic.

"It tastes like flour now," Grice said as he tried someone's gravy.

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Grice needs the gravy to taste just as good as a batch made by grandma. His crew at Sierra Nevada Brewing is working on making 80 gallons of it!

It's Grice's third week on the job, so he has to deliver.

"This is definitely the biggest crew I've had to make this big of a meal and the biggest reason to make the meals," Grice said.

The gravy will go along with the thousands of meals Grice and his team are preparing for Camp Fire evacuees.

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The company is working in conjunction with World Central Kitchen. The organization plans to serve 15,000 Thanksgiving dinners to Paradise victims on Thanksgiving.

Ken Grossman is the owner of Sierra Nevada Brewing and got his hands dirty too.

"It's very personal for us," Grossman said.

"We had about 14 percent of our Chico employees lose their homes and just about everyone here has friends or families who lost their homes as well," Robin Gregory, Sierra Nevada Brewing's spokesperson said.

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About 10 minutes up the road, another group at the Evangelical Free Church of Chico is preparing for the same thing.

Vincent Sanchez, founder of Napa Valley Barbecue Foundation Fund is leading the team of volunteers. He started his foundation to help feed evacuees after his Napa Valley community was devastated by the North Bay fires.

The last several days have brought up some tough memories.

"It's hard but at the same time cooking for other people is a cathartic way of working through it," Sanchez said.

The kitchen Sanchez was working out of smelled of pomegranate and potatoes, and if hope had a smell, maybe that too.

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.
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