An extraordinary year called for supersizing an annual holiday tradition. Earlier this month, Community Living Campaign was among the partners that helped distribute more than 5,600 turkeys and full Thanksgiving meals.
“We know there’s food scarcity in the City, and that sometimes, life can get hard,” said the Department of Public Health’s Veronica Shepard, Coordinator of the main event.
She admitted that keeping the volunteers safe in this time of COVID was no easy task, but high priority. For the past six years, San Francisco non-profits and faith leaders have come together to fund and organize this annual effort.
We all demonstrated that “the world is not as awful as it feels right now when we all help one another,” she said.
Volunteers and a coalition of meal program staff gave away the majority of the turkeys at the Cow Palace. Another 600 turkeys and fixings were distributed at the parking lot of Catholic Charities in the OMI with support from Glide.
Deborah Glen, Coordinator of the Community Living Campaign’s OMIHome Grocery Delivery Program, spearheaded the effort in her neighborhood. Chester Williams and crew distributed throughout the Bayview.
“This holiday tradition left volunteers with the knowledge they had brightened the holidays for so many struggling to make ends meet,” said Marie Jobling, CLC’s Executive Director. “A heightened COVID shutdown the day before the scheduled event was a worry. But what else could we do with more than 5,000 turkeys and fixings but find a safe way to deliver them — and we did!”
The San Francisco African-American Faith-Based Coalition and the San Francisco Department of Public Health sponsored the event, with more than 60 diverse collaborating organizations and faith communities delivering to seniors and families in need. Other funders include the Glide Foundation, the Cow Palace, Hellman Foundation, Salesforce, Fivepoint and 15 more donor organizations.