“Shout out to all the volunteers, MCAVHN Board Members and the amazing staff that pulled together to make our annual Thanksgiving Meal. We distributed over 200 home cooked meals throughout our community to the individuals we serve and those that don’t know someone cares about them. A little caring goes a long way to destigmatize those less fortunate. It’s a part of MCAVHN that we hold dear in our hearts and love to do,” said Joe Ditto a MCAVHN staff member about this year’s Thanksgiving food delivery.
Preparations started at 5:30 a.m. with staff cooking and preparing traditional Thanksgiving fare. They were joined later by volunteers and board members, assembly lines were formed to put the meals together so they could be delivered at lunchtime. Portions of turkey, scoops of stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, a slice of pumpkin pie, and a scoop of fruit desert were placed in to-go containers, then placed in delivery bags with a dinner roll, plastic ware, and a small bottle of water.
Thanksgiving dinners were delivered to various organizations in need, including:
- Willow Terrace: Provides Housing and Services for Individuals with Severe Mental Health Challenges
- MCHC (Mendocino Community Health Center): Provide medical, dental, behavioral care in Mendocino & Lake Counties.
- OAK House: Housing for Behavioral Health clients
- Live Oak Apartments: Housing for Behavioral Health clients
- Room Key: Housing at various motels for clients susceptible to COVID-19
- Homeless Encampments
- Homeless and street people when found
- Drop-ins at 148 Clara
Prior to 2020, MCAVHN did a sit-down Thanksgiving dinner, but because of COVID-19, went to a “Meals-on-Wheels” option.
Also helping to make the meals happen were local merchants – notably Costco and Safeway – other organizations, and private citizens’ contributions.