Fresno, California (KSEE) — Around 100 volunteers served the homeless a Thanksgiving meal at the Poverello House on Thursday.
“We are serving more than people than in our 50-year history,” said Poverello House Director Zack Darrah. “There is no doubt that has to deal with the pandemic and the economic impact that our community is experiencing.”
Over 2,000 meals were served or delivered to the homeless.
Poverello House Board Chair Stephanie Negin started volunteering on Thanksgiving at the Poverello house when she was 8-years-old.
“I am so amazed by how the circle of life works but I am just blessed to serve the community.”
The tradition that has been around for five decades faced many obstacles.
The non-profit is down $250,000 in donations compared to previous years, the event had to be held outside to meet CDC guidelines due to COVID-19, and tents and heaters were sold out in most stores because of restaurants moving their services outdoors to meet state mandates.
Typically, the event is held inside of the Poverello House but this year it was held outside in order to meet CDC guidelines due to COVID-19.
“It has been a challenge putting it together because of the moving parts and COVID-19 but as you can see it has come together nicely,” said Darrah.
The non-profit also needed more volunteers this year because the food was individually plated and served to the tables instead of buffet style.
The Poverello House is ordering more tents and heaters and plans to host a similar event on Christmas Eve.