As the calendars roll by again for Thanksgiving, charities in Eureka are in full swing with three days of free Thanksgiving meals.
The Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation distributed Thanksgiving meals on Tuesday, the Eureka Rescue Mission hosted a meal on Wednesday, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is scheduled to have its holiday service on Thursday.
“A lot of people who come to us for whatever reason in their life, they don’t have family, maybe they’re estranged from family,” said Bryan Hall, director of the rescue mission. . “Food is good and food is actually just something that brings us together.”
Each of the organizations serves Thanksgiving staples, including turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pies and other holiday favorites.
By the Times-Standard’s printing deadline, the rescue mission had served 320 meals.
Each service has an overlapping customer base, which allows them to serve those in need on a larger scale than asking each organization to provide a meal the same day, said board member Bob Santilli. of St. Vincent’s.
âWhen life was normal, more than three years ago, it wouldn’t be unusual for us to have between 500 and almost 1,000 plates served during a given party (season),â Santilli said. “I would say the last two Christmases and Thanksgiving it was closer to 400. We’ve all seen a general downturn over the last two and a half years for some reason that people aren’t there looking for services .”
The Saint-Vincent meal must start at 11 a.m. and last until 1 p.m.
On Tuesday, the Betty Kwan Chinn Foundation distributed 700 hot meals consisting of turkey, rosemary potatoes, roasted vegetables and a dessert, along with an additional 300 food baskets given to families to cook at home on Monday.
For residents interested in donating needed supplies to charities in Eureka, the Chinn Foundation is looking for sleeping bags, the Rescue Mission needs food to prepare their next meal around Christmas, and St. Vincent is at additional foraging and handling gloves.
“Thanksgiving is an important tradition in American culture and it’s important to note what we are grateful for,” Chinn said in an email.