Los Angeles Mission officials Wednesday announced they reorganized their traditional Thanksgiving feast for homeless people this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing to-go meals instead of hosting a large street gathering.

“As we thought about what we could do under current COVID guidelines, our staff came up with multiple ways of serving the holiday meal safely,” Mission President and CEO Troy Vaughn said.

Each food box includes Thanksgiving dinner for four to five people.

Some 1,500 boxes went out on Friday to Watts and Hawaiian Gardens. An additional 1,200 food boxes were distributed to residents of Skid Row on Wednesday morning, Vaughn said.

The annual event was sponsored by Wells Fargo, which provided $50,000 for the feast and other services, and the law firm of Samer, Habbas & Associates. The Mission kitchen staff were led by chef David Thomas with celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio to prepare the to-go boxes.

“The Thanksgiving event serves as a reminder of the great work that the Mission does and how they are always working to help our most vulnerable Angeleno residents,” Wells Fargo Los Angeles Region Bank President Michael Ormonde said.

Mission officials also are providing hygiene kits, blankets and access to medical support services for homeless people.

“The need never stops, but the real reason we never stop is because we know that each life is precious to God,” Vaughn said. “We never stop working to reclaim those lost lives. We serve up unconditional love in the form of a meal because we know that the path to changing a life often begins with a meal.”

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