People rely on Schmincke's much-loved food every day, not just on Thanksgiving. "We appreciate the attention around the holidays," says McLennan. "But we do 80,000 meals a year. We have needs in January, in August, every weekday all year. We have a need for a lot of volunteers and a lot of food."

One day, McLennan will need to replace Schmincke, too. She owns a trailer in Ocean City, where she vacations with her children and grandchildren. Eventually, she plans to retire there.

But even then, she won't stop cooking for those in need. "I'll find someplace like this to work," she promises.

Tomorrow afternoon, when the last meal has been cooked and served, Schmincke will head to her car, taking a turkey along with her. She'll drive to the beach to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family.

Meanwhile, back in Baltimore, thousands of people associated with Paul's Place — its employees and volunteers, and the neighborhood residents who rely on its generosity — will be giving their thanks for Miss Sue and all that she does.

Miss Sue's Meatloaf

Makes: 8-10 servings

4 pounds of ground chuck

2 cups mixed peppers and onions diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small can of V8 juice

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of onion powder

2 eggs, beaten

8 strips cooked bacon

Mix all ingredients together (except bacon and v8 juice) and form a loaf in your pan. Add the bacon strips across the top of the loaf. Pour V8 juice over top to keep it moist. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. Check temperature to ensure internal temperature of 160 degrees. Slice and enjoy with tossed salad and your favorite macaroni and cheese.

 

<I>Note: A previous version of this story listed the incorrect number of meals per year that Paul's Place makes. The Sun regrets the error.</i>