Thanksgiving Time at Meals on Wheels San Francisco
November 24, 2021Jim Oswald

Meals on Wheels San Francisco prepares 6,500 turkey meals for delivery to homebound seniors – a record in its history. Volunteers craft thousands of holiday greetings, slice pie and more to make this annual event a success.

While the second year of Meals on Wheels San Francisco’s pandemic response and safety protocols continues, we have increased the number of holiday meals produced and delivered to those in need this year ensuring that no older adult on its program goes hungry or is forgotten on Thanksgiving.

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, volunteers, and staff, Meals on Wheels San Francisco has produced 6,500 special Thanksgiving meals, all packaged in festive boxes and accompanied by a handmade greeting card from members of the public. Once produced, many of the meals were frozen in preparation for delivery by staff, trained in COVID-19 protocols, during the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day.

This is the highest number of Thanksgiving meals MOWSF staff has ever produced in its 51-year history and was made possible thanks to the opening of our new industrial kitchen and food distribution center in Bayview, known as The Sangiacomo Flynn Building.

Meals on Wheels San Francisco Thanksgiving meal menu items by the numbers:

  • 3,500 pounds of turkey (compared to 750 pounds in 2020)
  • 3,000 pounds of potatoes
  • 1,220 pounds of roasted squash
  • 875 pies
  • 700 pounds of fresh cranberries, and
  • 600 gallons of gravy

“Food inflation and supply chain issues are making it harder for organizations like MOWSF to budget for and purchase food and related items,” said Jim Oswald, director of marketing and communications at Meals on Wheels San Francisco. “For instance, the cost of purchasing turkey for this year’s meals increased by 11.6% over the previous year.”

The spirit of giving is alive and well in San Francisco! Volunteers from the community, including in the corporate sector, gave generously of their time to assemble more than 3,000 special Thanksgiving boxes, cut thousands of slices of pumpkin and pecan pies, and craft nearly 4,000 greeting cards.

New this year, we held a weekly drawing with greeting cards randomly selected by our very own “Tim Turkey” for prizes of homemade pies and a top prize of a locally-sourced goodie basket worthy of sharing at any gathering!

History of Thanksgiving at Meals on Wheels San Francisco:

For more than 20 years, Meals on Wheels San Francisco has prepared and delivered thousands of special Thanksgiving Day meals for senior meal recipients living in the city. Prior to the pandemic, nearly 1,000 volunteers from around the Bay Area would arrive at MOWSF headquarters in Bayview bright and early on Thanksgiving, rain or shine, to help package up meals, and deliver the tasty dinners (in their own vehicles) to those in need, greeting each senior with a friendly smile and “hello” when they opened the door. MOWSF hopes to be able to return to its traditional Thanksgiving community outreach event in 2022.

This Thanksgiving, we are very grateful for so many things.

We are grateful to our staff for their extraordinary commitment to the mission, and to our tireless volunteers who come in each week to bag groceries and help out.

We are thankful for our board members and city leaders that make the impossible, possible for us.

And we are especially grateful for the generosity of our donors, and funders who together, help us ensure no senior goes hungry or is forgotten and all live independently in their homes with dignity and respect.


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