An army of 700 volunteers gave graciously of their time to deliver a bit of Thanksgiving to homebound seniors in San Francisco.
The wet and cold weather did not deter hundreds of volunteers as well as Meals on Wheels SF staff from their mission to deliver thousands of turkey dinners to 2,300 older adults on Thanksgiving day. The first group of hundreds of volunteers converged at Meals on Wheels headquarters in the Bayview starting at 7:00 am ready to enjoy a hearty breakfast provided by our culinary team before hitting the road to deliver meals, gifts, and good cheer. After breakfast, many volunteers stopped by our photo booth area for some "turkey" selfies and fun. Our resident turkey mascots took breaks throughout the morning to "warm-up" their tail feathers.
(Click image to see more photos from the day.)
Once folks got back in their cars, they pulled up to our check-in station where they received route assignments (approximately 238 with 10 seniors per route), bags full of meals, wrapped holiday gifts, decorated Thanksgiving placemats, and hand-drawn greeting cards. Throughout the year, volunteers participating in our activities, were invited to apply their artistic talents to make the heartfelt holiday greetings -- messages of hope and humor for our senior clients. This year's gifts, provided by Meals on Wheels, were also wrapped by volunteers and included a safety kit made up of a flashlight, non-slip socks, and other items.
Each of the meal recipients received both a turkey dinner and a ham dinner for a total of 4,600 meals delivered to the group. In addition, Meals on Wheels drivers delivered 915 turkey meals to the San Francisco Navigation Centers -- home to adults and families who are or have experienced homelessness and are in need of food and shelter. This brought the total number of meal deliveries to San Francisco residents that day to more than 5,000 meals!
This year's turkey meal included:
1,050 pounds of boneless turkeys
1,000 pounds of cornbread stuffing
1,500 pounds of mixed vegetables
63 gallons of gravy
33 gallons of cranberry sauce
546 pumpkin pies
The last group of volunteers arrived for the early afternoon shift at 12:30 and by 4:00 pm delivered all of the meals.
We want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make the day possible, and who brightened the day for many seniors who might otherwise have spent the day alone with no visitors or food. We received many calls from our meal recipients who were so grateful, not just for the meal, but for the visit and companionship they had during the visits.
Dan, a Meals on Wheels recipient who received dinners that day, said: "Thank you very much for the dinners and attention to detail. Thank you also for making poverty so nice."
In addition to the meal deliveries, our online GobbleGiving fundraising campaign raised more than $5,000 for the community of older adults we serve every day.
Save Thursday, November 26, 2020 for the next meals on Wheels SF Thanksgiving Day meal delivery!
Can't wait that long to volunteer for us? No problem -- check out our opportunities to make a difference for a senior at: MOWSF.org/volunteer.
Did you know?
79% of home-delivered meal recipients, nationwide, are 75 or older.
1 in 4 seniors lives alone.