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Union Station Distributes Thanksgiving Meal Supply Boxes

With a lot of help from the Southern California Gas Company

Published on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 | 5:58 am
 

Volunteers from the Southern California Gas Company work to set up food items prior to distribution to those who have homes but are struggling to afford a Thanksgiving meal for their families on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. [Photo courtesy Union Station Homeless Services]
With many helping hands provided Monday by the Southern California Gas Company, Pasadena-based Union Station Homeless Services distributed ‘all the fixings’ meal supply boxes for those who have homes but are struggling to afford a Thanksgiving meal for their families. 

The meal supply boxes were distributed at the nonprofit’s Adult Center in South Raymond Avenue over the course of five hours. They held everything needed for a delicious Thanksgiving meal, including  frozen turkey, canned goods, stuffing, potatoes mix, and more. 

Union Station traditionally celebrated Thanksgiving by hosting a massive “Dinner in the Park,” a tradition that brought togetherv thousands in need at Pasadena’s Central Park.

After the pandemic swept into Pasadena, the nonprofit was forced to try other ways to reach the community.

“When COVID happened, we could no longer come together in groups to eat. We realized there were so many people in need. That’s when we put these boxes together that people can take home and cook themselves. These are obviously for people who have homes,” said Union Station CEO Anne Miskey.

According to Miskey, this year, the Los Angeles Food Bank is providing boxes of fresh produce to support Union Station’s program.  

Miskey said its donation will enable Union Station to help and serve more people who are in need, but have their own home and are able to afford to but the food necessary to prepare a Thanksgiving meal.

Aside from distributing meal supply boxes, Union Station will also distribute fully cooked and prepared Thanksgiving dinners, which will be available at the Adult Center on Nov. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Union Station CEO Anne Miskey as food is delivered prior to Monday’s distribution event. Monday, November 21, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Union Station Homeless Services]
According to Miskey, anyone unable to afford a holiday meal could go to the center and ask for meal supply boxes as well as the Thanksgiving cooked meals. 

“It’s focused on adults and families living in homelessness or poverty. Our senior citizens, those who are alone [during the] holidays or basically anyone unable to afford a holiday meal.”

“It’s open for anybody to come up [but] obviously we hope that the people who come are truly people in need. But we don’t limit it and we don’t ask for any kind of proof when you come up.”

Aside from the above mentioned programs, Union Station will host a revised version of the annual “Dinner in the Park” on Nov. 24. The sit down dinner is planned for 550 residents living at interim housing locations including the Adult Center, Family Center, Centennial Place, Huntington Villas, Casa Luna, the Eagle Rock Tiny Village, and the M Motel in El Monte .

Union Station in Need of Donations

Miskey said Union Station served over 4,000 people at last year’s Thanksgiving and it expects to serve more this year especially with the rising food costs.

Union Station relies upon “rely on the generosity of our community” is still in need of donations to make all their plans happen. 

“We are concerned that the numbers will be way up. So we really are in need of people to donate what they can in the way of food to ensure that we don’t miss anybody who really does need the help,” said Miskey. 

Just last week, Union Station put out an urgent call for frozen turkeys which will be part of “all the Fixings” boxes. 

Aside from donations, Miskey also said Union Station needs more volunteers to make the events possible. 

“We couldn’t do it without volunteers. This is a huge endeavor where we are one of the largest Thanksgiving dinners in Los Angeles County. So with thousands of meals and boxes, we need as many volunteers as we can get.”

“There’s a whole variety of jobs up to and including the actual days that we’re serving food. So volunteers really are the lifeblood of our organization for ‘Dinner in the Park.’” 

To donate and to know more about the volunteer opportunities available for the upcoming “Dinner in the Park,” visit: https://unionstationhs.org/dinner-in-the-park/ and click “Get Involved.”

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