Volunteers plan Thanksgiving meal for pipeline protesters

Oil Pipeline Protest_211856

Protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline stand on a burned-out truck near Cannon Ball, N.D., Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, that they removed from a long-closed bridge on Sunday on a state highway near their camp in southern North Dakota. Opponents skirmished with law officers late Sunday and early Monday. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

BISMARCK, ND (AP/WISH) — About 75 people from around the country are planning to serve Thanksgiving dinner to about 2,000 protesters who are demonstrating against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.

The group is to include actress-activists Jane Fonda and Shailene Woodley. The meal is set for late Thursday afternoon at a school in Fort Yates, which is near a camp where hundreds of protesters have gathered for months.

Fort Yates is on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe opposes the $3.8 billion pipeline that will skirt its reservation as it carries North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois.

Opponents fear the pipeline will harm drinking water and Native American cultural sites. Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes that and says the pipeline will be safe.

Anna Powell, a chef at Ivy Tech Community College, packed a truck with more than 200 pounds of food on the near north side of Indianapolis Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m hoping to feed about 1,000 people, hopefully twice,” Powell said to WISH-TV. “I would hope that people would do the same for me.”

Powell said she plans on sleeping in the back of a truck with a subzero sleeping bag.

“I have a skill where I can cook for a lot of people. I thought, I can do this and then have other people help as well so it gives them a chance to be of service,” Powell said.

Tyner Pond Farm, based in Greenfield, donated thirty pounds of beef. Powell’s friends made more than 4,000 dinner rolls.

Powell raised more than $4000 through an online fundraiser.

“It means more to me than I think people would ever know,” Powell said. “I always get these kind of crazy ideas of service, usually during the holiday.”

The donations helped her rent a U-Haul and buy food. She said she’ll donate any leftover money to Native Americans at Standing Rock.

“I’m really excited,” she said.

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