Stories

Senators, Mayors Give Out Free Turkeys

November 22, 2017

By Marinee Zavala

Over 700 free Thanksgiving dinners will help San Diego and Imperial county families enjoy a happier holiday.
The senators and mayors behind the project said they could not let lack of money keep low-income or at-risk families from having the best possible holiday with their families.

“Between Monday, Nov. 20 and Tuesday 21, we hosted nine events where we handed out a total of 750 turkeys or dinners to 750 families in District 40. It’s something we are organizing to ensure that very low-income families will also get the chance to enjoy Thanksgiving,” Benjamin Hueso, State Senator for District 40 said.

Thanksgiving turkeys started being handed out early in the morning of Nov. 20, in Chula Vista, then Imperial Beach and 32nd Street in San Diego.

From there, they traveled to Campo and then El Centro and Calexico in Imperial County. The biggest challenge, said public officials, was making sure they reached those families who needed it most.

To that end, they reached out to foundations and non profits to help them pre-select recipients.

“There are families all over the District who need help, really, and that is why we hold these events in different parts of the District, together with organizations that have already identified low-income families. This ensures that we cover more of the District and are able to help needy families,” Hueso added.

Other public officials, such as Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas, also participated in the events.

Salas stressed that, as these families came in to pick up their Thanksgiving dinner, they could also find out more about their other needs, so the City and other agencies could help meet those needs.

“There are many families who do not have much to eat, and this Thanksgiving it is very important that everyone in our city can enjoy the day. That’s why we’re here, to see how we can help these families,” Salas said.
According to the United Way, nearly a third of all San Diego County households do not make enough to make ends meet, and therefore hundreds of families struggle to have a happy holiday.

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