This is the first year that The Mission at Kern County does not have the 100 to 150 volunteers to help them serve their annual Thanksgiving meal, but they’ve put all hands on deck with staff, board members and their families to make it happen against all odds.
“The community has entrusted us to keep helping the homeless, to be a part of the solution. We just have to get creative and figure things out,” Carlos Baldovinos, the Executive Director of The Mission at Kern County said.
Hosting a socially-distanced feast for normally 500 to 600 guests definitely can take some planning--but the mission has been up to the challenge.
“There are still lots of people in our community that still need the help. definitely doing something of this magnitude is going to help them,” Baldovinos said. “I mean, who doesn’t want to be around the family table, or at least enjoy a good meal during the holiday?”
Baldovinos said that they’ve been feeding the homeless all throughout the pandemic. Even with 50 to 60 turkeys to prepare, he says it was a no-brainer to move forward with their annual Thanksgiving meal but with some changes.
The mission will be serving the meals under a large outdoor tent at 816 E 21st street. The meals, that will include all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings, “turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, the green beans a roll...pumpkin pie, of course,” will be served in to-go containers, Baldovinos said.
He said the mission will be observing social distancing protocols among lines and tables. Temperature checks are required upon entry. Masks are required too, and they will provide one for anyone without one. Handwashing stations are also onsite.
Meals will be served from 11 to 1pm Thursday, first come first serve.