Free Feasts Coming Up in I.E.
By Dianne Anderson
Volunteers by the hundreds are boxing up goodies by the thousands as food agencies across San Bernardino County race against the time to prepare for their biggest feast of the season.
This time of year gets intense.
In a twist on traditional Thanksgiving offerings, the community can come out, pick up some nice new-ish clothes for a dollar each to look good while applying for a job, plus get a free turkey, and the fixings.
It’s all going down at Zion Elect New Generation Ministry Church of God in Christ on Saturday, November 23, located at 2972 California Street in San Bernardino starting at 10:00 a.m.
Pastor Paul Jones said it’s been a great year for his church, and they’re going the extra mile this holiday. He’s leading the turkey basket giveaway, and his wife is hosting a rummage sale.
There is a huge amount of clothes with some donations from cleaners of clothes left behind by owners for many months. Another big donation came in from one store that went out of business. He said it’s all good quality.
“We even have suits, men’s suits, women suits. I think there are two tuxedos in there too,” he said.
A staffing company will be on-site taking applications. The company has provided many jobs for people in San Bernardino.
Proceeds from the clothes will help augment their Christmas toy giveaway. So far, he’s put together toys for about 300 kids, and growing. Santa Claus Inc. is helping with a toy donation, along with other donations coming into the church.
Some donations have come along divinely.
This year, he received a donation of $10,000 security system. Three months ago, Victor Valley Transit Authority donated a 16-passenger bus.
Recently, a small sacrifice of time ended up yielding many extra turkeys. He was running to pick up a donation of food pallets when a mother of five called for help on a day that he didn’t distribute at the church. He told her he’d double back in a short window of time to help her out when he got a mysterious call from a man that gave him 50 turkeys. On his way, another unusual call came from a water company in a city he doesn’t live in, wanting to send him another donation of turkeys.
All had his personal cell, which he said very few people have.
“Why was the water company calling me? She had to get my name and number from somewhere,” he said. “Only God does that.”
These days he feeds about 1,000 people a month on food donations coming from six organizations that he redistributes back to several locations and parks in the city. He is also listed on 211. He has received
an additional 50 turkeys from Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
This year, he is getting some turkeys from Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino, which he said has been very supportive of his outreach for food distribution. But it’s hard to say how many turkeys they’ll end up with on the giveaway. It is a first-come, first serve basis, and they will be distributed while they last.
Patricia Nickols-Butler, president and CEO of Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County, said it’s important to take time to think of others this holiday season.
Her organization always welcomes food donations and canned goods from the larger community to their food bank, which goes back to help those in need.
CABSB is inviting the community out for a full day of fun, in partnership with Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy.
On Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the big 14th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway & Resource Fair happens at Young Visionaries and Community Action Partnership, located at 696 S. Tippecanoe Ave. in San Bernardino.
Holiday bags will be provided for up to 1,000 families, first come, first serve. No pre-registration required, but only San Bernardino residents are eligible to receive food.
During this holiday season, Ms. Nickols-Butler said families are struggling every day to put food on the table.
“It is in this spirit that Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County in partnership with Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy is committed to helping families in need, and we are delighted to be able to provide 1,000 turkeys and holiday food bags so that families can come together and enjoy a special home-cooked meal with all the trimmings to share with their loved ones,” she said.
Several other locations around town are also serving up free warm and tasty sit-down Thanksgiving dinners for the entire family.
On Saturday, November 16:
Starting at 7:00 a.m., Thanksgiving Food Basket distribution for families in need are provided at Bridge Church of the Nazarene 9904 Bloomington Ave., Bloomington
On Tuesday, November 19:
Dignity Health/Community Hospital of San Bernardino and Jacket Boutique presents a turkey dinner with all the trimmings at Health Education Center from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at 1725 Western Ave. in San Bernardino. All are welcome.
On Wednesday, November 20:
A Thanksgiving Festival Luncheon, IVRS & Project Boon, & Friendship Baptist Church at 939 N D St. San Bernardino is held from noon to 4:00 p.m. Omnitrans is providing residents with a free bus pass for contacting 951-305-3038. Their event features traditional dinner, health and resources, clothes closet, games for the kids, and raffles.
On Saturday, November 23:
From 3-5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving dinner is served at The Olive Branch Development and Empowerment Services 18401 Jurupa Ave., Bloomington. All are welcome to join the sit down meal.
Abundant Living Family Church Outreach Center is also serving low income families with a Thanksgiving food basket from 9:30 a.m to 1:00 p.m. at 9239 Utica Ave., Ste 139 in Rancho Cucamonga
On Saturday, November 23:
Starting at 2:00 p.m. , registration is required to receive a Thanksgiving Food Basket at the Point of Grace Christian Fellowship 9244 19th St., Rancho Cucamonga, Ca 91701. Leave a voicemail and number at 909-758-0859
On Tuesday, November 26:
Thanksgiving Dinner is served St. Bernardine Medical Center from 4-6:00 p.m. at the Family Focus Center at 1931 N. E St. San Bernardino.
On Wednesday, November 27:
Seville Park hosts its 8th Annual Eat & Be Well Thanksgiving Event at 16601 Seville Avenue in Fontana. from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Families will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal, access to health services, fun and entertainment. They are also accepting volunteers, vendors and food donations.
On Thanksgiving, Thursday November 28:
Hutton Community Center is inviting the community in need to come out and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., located at 660 Colton Ave., Colton.
A free Thanksgiving meal is also served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Center for Effective Life Transitions, located at 238 N. Riverside ave., Ste A, Rialto.
The Catholic Charities of San Bernardino is hosting its annual Thanksgiving free feast for all at Brandin’ Iron Saloon, located at 320 S. E St., San Bernardino.
Mary’s Mercy Center is extending its annual Thanksgiving Meal to all those in need from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.at 641 Roberds Ave., San Bernardino