On Thanksgiving Day, a collection of compassionate volunteers came together at the St. Vincent de Paul Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, California to feed their neighbors in need. Over 130 families and individuals came to the Family Resource Center for a hot Thanksgiving meal, with all the fixings, prepared with love and served by SVdP volunteers dedicated to helping their neighbors enjoy the holidays.
“It was an amazing day,” SVdP Vincentian Services Manager Steve Krank said. “Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa donated and cooked the food at their central kitchen, and SVdP Vincentian volunteers from St. Agnes-Concord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary-Brentwood took over meal prep here at the free dining room at the SVdP family resource center. It was a truly amazing day.”
Steve said that although the meals were served to-go, due to COVID-19 considerations, many of the people coming to the free dining room sat outside on chairs provided by the volunteers. Steve said the day opened with a gratitude circle, led by a visiting Catholic priest from Kenya. Steve said everyone, volunteers and diners, gathered around and spoke about the things they are thankful for and the problems they are currently facing in life. Steve said that it was an incredibly moving day of compassion, grace and friendship.
“A lot of our neighbors that came for food, unfortunately have no where else to go,” Steve said. “Although the meals were to-go, we found a way to provide them a dignified place to eat and enjoy their meal while also staying COVD-19 conscience.”
Alongside the meal, warm, winter coats were handed out to individuals and families in need, to help them deal with the increasingly cold and wet weather this winter is bringing. Local realtor and co-chair of the RotaCare Pittsburg Free Medical Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul Advisory Committee Joanne Hodge and her husband Dewitt purchased and served hot chocolate to everyone serving and attending the Thanksgiving dinner.
“We host a Thanksgiving Dinner for our neighbors and community every year,” Steve said. “This year though, with the stories of struggle shared during the pandemic, the dinner was truly something special. People didn’t just come and get a coat and a meal, they came and made friends.”