San Francisco officials help feed the needy for Thanksgiving

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other local officials stepped out of their offices and into the kitchen this morning in order to help prepare and serve Thanksgiving meals for the needy.

Pelosi volunteered this morning in the dining room at St. Anthony's, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides food, clothing medical care and other services to low-income residents.

Later today, Lee will join San Francisco's acting police Chief Tony Chaplin and San Francisco fire Chief Joanne Hayes-While in a turkey carving event for St. Anthony's annual Thanksgiving meal, according to a St. Anthony's spokesman.

The nonprofit typically serves about 2,400 meals a day, and expects to provide roughly 3,500 people with a turnkey meal tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the dining room at 121 Golden Gate Ave.

Chaplin and Lee also donned aprons this morning in order to help the Salvation Army of San Francisco carve its birds for tomorrow's main event, according to the mayor's official Twitter account.

Lee and his wife, Anita, will also be on hand Thursday morning for the Glide Memorial Church Thanksgiving dinner preparations, along with Rev. Cecil Williams and hundreds of other volunteers, according to Glide officials.

The public is invited to enjoy a free meal from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Glide's dining room at 330 Ellis St.  

Other organizations around the Bay Area will serve Thanksgiving dinner today, including San Francisco's Community Awareness Resource Entity (CARE), Santa Cruz's Operation Love Our Vets, the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond and Oakland's Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

"Homeless people are lonely people," said Rev. John M. Anderson, executive director of the Bay Area Rescue Mission. "People in need often feel ignored, so a bountiful meal served with words of kindness help the homeless to feel truly welcome."

Anderson began welcoming people to the Richmond Memorial Auditorium at 403 Civic Center Plaza at 11:15 a.m. today and expects to provide 10,000 Thanksgiving meals.

In Santa Cruz, needy veterans can gather today at noon in the Veterans Memorial Building at 846 Front St. to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal and take another meal to go for their Thursday dinner, according to Lisa Tkoch, executive director of Operation Love Our Vets.

"I believe the most important thing we serve is dignity," Tkoch said in a statement.

CARE is hosting a Thanksgiving lunch today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for roughly 300 Potrero Hill Neighborhood residents at 801 Arkansas St. in which San Francisco police officers will help serve meals.

And Oakland's Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church will hold its annual turkey giveaway and community dinner today at noon at 1203 Willow St.