TOWSON, Md. — Inmates in Maryland will process and cook 275 turkeys for an annual Thanksgiving feast started by an advocate for the homeless.

The free feast was started in Baltimore 36 years ago by the late Bea Gaddy, who used her lottery winnings of $250 in 1981 to feed 49 neighbors. The tradition has continued through family and friends who now feed about 50,000 people in the city every year with help from inmates.

On Tuesday, inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown will prepare and cook the turkeys. They are part of the Maryland Correctional Enterprises meat processing training plant at the correctional institution.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has been participating in the tradition for nearly 30 years.