Culture

Photos: Volunteers feed Oakland in 30th Community Day of Thanks


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Instead of the sound of plates and utensils clanging in a crowded banquet hall, tire squeals and trunks opening, being loaded and then shut could be heard in the parking garage of the Downtown Oakland City Center Marriott on Tuesday in a pandemic-proof rendition of a Town tradition known as the Community Day of Thanks.

Dozens of volunteers buzzed in assembly lines to pack and give away 3,500 meals — an increase from 2,000 meals in years past — to residents in drive-throughs and walk-up stations and to food pantries across the city. Once the meals were prepped, the volunteers also handed them out from wagons they pulled by hand around the southwest end of Lake Merritt around noon.

OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 23: Volunteers Islay Morrison, left, and Lisa Barajas, right, pack bags with a Thanksgiving meal to be distributed at the 30th Annual Community Day of Thanks event at the Oakland Marriott City Center on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. The city’s Human Services Department provided 3,500 meals to Oakland residents. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 23: Volunteer Todd Williams sorts containers of pumpkin pie during the 30th Annual Community Day of Thanks event at the Oakland Marriott City Center on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. The city’s Human Services Department provided 3,500 meals to Oakland residents. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

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Though its format differed from the usual in-person dinner organized through the city’s Hunger Program, the 30th annual event thrived on donations as it always has: $26 paid for one meal for one guest this year while $104 fed a family of four. Founded in 1985 during the mayoral administration of Lionel J. Wilson, the Hunger Program now housed in the city’s Department of Human Services has served residents year-round since and provides Thanksgiving holiday dinners to low-income families, seniors and the unsheltered since 1991.

OAKLAND, CA – NOVEMBER 23: Volunteers load bags with a Thanksgiving meal into automobiles for distribution at the 30th Annual Community Day of Thanks event at the Oakland Marriott City Center on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. The city’s Human Services Department provided 3,500 meals to Oakland residents. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

“We are grateful to the many volunteers …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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