Whether Serving or Raising Funds, Volunteers Support Those in Need on Thanksgiving

Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center
A violinist plays for those gathered at a Serving Seniors Thanksgiving Day meal in downtown San Diego. Photo credit: Courtesy, Serving Seniors

Volunteers worked across San Diego County Thursday to serve those in need or raise money to support charities that provide aid.

A Thanksgiving meal was prepared and presented at the Serving Seniors Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in downtown San Diego, where 300 people enjoyed a meal served by 30 volunteers and staff members.

“This is a way to engage the community, volunteer some of your time and serve those most in need …” said Serving Seniors Chief Operating Officer Melinda Forstey.

Serving Seniors is the single largest annual provider of meals to San Diego County residents over age 55, both in the dining room and via pickup and delivery – 1.4 million meals per year.

One in three people experiencing homelessness in San Diego is over age 55.

Mewanwhile, local Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers gathered at the organization’s El Cajon Drop Site in East County with nearly 10 colorful vintage trucks, courtesy of the Pickups Limited San Diego Chapter and South Bay Cruisers, available to deliver meals.

Brent Wakefield, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels San Diego County delivered to an El Cajon couple who have been clients for two years. In addition to delivering their Thanksgiving meals, he also brought them a holiday gift.

East County hungry homebound
Volunteers in El Cajon Thursday, preparing to distribute holiday meals. Photo credit: Courtesy, Meals on Wheels

Thousands of San Diegans also gathered for Father Joe’s Villages‘ 22nd annual Thanksgiving Day 5K to raise funds to provide meals to people who lack shelter.

“We’re always grateful to the thousands of locals who come together on Thanksgiving morning to help tackle hunger head-on and provide meals to those who need them the most,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s.

Homelessness in the region increased by at least 22% this year, according to the results from the 2023 WeAllCount Point-in-Time Count.

– Staff and wire reports