SAN FRANCISCO - The Salvation Army provided thousands of Thanksgiving meals “to-go” this year.
This year, volunteers could not help prepare the meal because of safety concerns and CDC guidelines around COVID-19. So, the nonprofit organization altered its 70-year tradition and partnered with a catering company instead.
The catering company put together all delicious meals – which included all the fixings: Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing.
And because of the virus, the Salvation Army scrapped all the meal prep events including the annual carving of the turkey.
Organizers said the need was greater than ever as many people who are ill or elderly can’t celebrate with loved ones this year because of the risk of contracting coronavirus.
This year, the Salvation Army distributed 4,800 meals in San Francisco – about 800 more meals than they usually serve.
"The adjustment of people not being able to go out for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the need for us providing this meal has increased," said David Pierce, executive director of the Harbor Lights Center. " So we are excited to have some community members come and help us delivering not only a meal but thanksgiving cheer to people.”
On Thanksgiving, Volunteers drove up in their cars to pick up the prepackaged meals at 10th and Harrison streets and then delivered them to people all around the city.
Volunteers – in masks, were asked to follow CDC guidelines while making the deliveries.