BAKERSFIELD, Cali — While many people enjoyed a warm dinner on Thanksgiving, some people in the community don't always get that luxury, but many organizations throughout Bakersfield stepped up to provide meals to those in need.
“Thanksgiving is not canceled. There are still a lot of people that need food, that need that support especially this time of year,” Carlos Baldovinos, Executive Director for the Mission at Kern County, said.
The Mission at Kern County held their annual Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving morning, and while the festivities had to take place outside this year, they were still able to serve food to both residents at The Mission as well as community members in the area that needed support.
“It’s just very special that everyone can come out together and get along and eat a good meal,” Whitney Shaw, resident at The Mission at Kern County, said.
The event was put together by the Mission staff as well as volunteers. Community leaders also attended the event, including Mayor Goh.
“Those who are eating right now, they are so grateful, they are just enjoying and they have no other family, this is there Bakersfield family,” Mayor Goh said.
The Blessing Corner Ministries also had to alter their usual thanksgiving dinner due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop them from making sure people had food to eat.
“Cooking and preparation started on Sunday, and the cooking has been happening up until 2 or 3 am this morning,” Tasha Turner with The Blessing Corner Ministries, said.
Every year the organization hosts a thanksgiving dinner allowing for everyone to join, but even with COVID-19 precautions, Blessing Corner Ministries were able to utilize a walk-up station as well as a drive-thru to help people get their thanksgiving meals.
“A lot of people have lost loved ones, lost friends, family, and so to be able to go somewhere where the food is going to be good, for one, and that there are places that are here that want to give back, no matter what the situation is,” Tiffany Turner with The Blessing Corner Ministries, said.
The M Street Navigation Center also provided meals to their residents with the help of City Serve, helping to provide some thanksgiving favorites to the homeless community.
“For City Serve to come out and help us with a whole dinner with turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, oh my gosh, it is such a blessing,”
Laurie Hughey, Program Manager at the M Street Navigation Center, said.
All of these organizations had one goal on thanksgiving, to make everyone feel like family, which during times like this, is important.
“It’s been a hard year, it’s been a hard year for a lot of us, what a great opportunity that we get to still move forward with Thanksgiving and be together as a big family,” Baldovinos said.