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Turkey on the menu at San Diego hospitals this Thanksgiving

Thousands of San Diegans will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday at local hospitals. KPBS Health Reporter Matt Hoffman takes a look at a special meal meant to remind patients and staff of home.

Thousands of San Diegans will spend the holiday at local hospitals, but some can still look forward to a special meal.

At Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, classic turkey dinners were being prepared Wednesday for all patients and staff.

"It can be difficult during the holidays to have to spend time in the hospital, so we want to give them that home-style cooked meal when they can’t be home with their families," said Tim Watson, the supervising chef at Scripps Memorial Hospital.

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Watson said they aim for a traditional meal. Each Scripps hospital is set to host a Thanksgiving feast. Turkeys are roasted and a number of sides are available.

"French cut green beans, mashed potatoes and we have a brown sugar yam puree," Watson said.

Dessert is also on the menu, including apple and pumpkin pie.

Just at Scripps Memorial hospital, Watson expects to serve about 1,700 meals on Thanksgiving day. That includes about 700 patients and 1000 hospital employees.

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The meal is meant to thank staff and remind patients of home.

"I know for me and for some of the staff personally, it means a lot to be able to feed patients when they can’t be at home with their families," Watson said. "It means a lot to send them a nice hot cooked meal and hopefully put a smile on their face."

The Scripps kitchen tries to accommodate patients dietary needs and turkey does not have to be ordered on Thanksgiving. The hospital’s full regular menu will also be in place.

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