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Organizations throughout Kern County working to provide holiday cheer

Posted at 12:16 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 15:16:02-05

Many organizations will be hard at work providing some holiday cheer this week throughout Kern County.

On Tuesday the United Way of Kern County is serving 2,000 hot meals to those in need. They are partnering with Vineland School District to serve meals to Lamont, Weedpatch, and Arvin communities. This will be at 3:30 p.m. at Sunset Middle School located at 8301 Sunset Boulevard in Bakersfield.

The event is drive-thru style and families will receive the hot meal and community resources. On the menu are turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies, dinner rolls, and dessert.

The annual tradition that's helped so many families in need over the years is back. The Bakersfield North Rotary will be packaging and distributing 350 Thanksgiving food boxes to pre-selected families on Wednesday. This is the 19th year the club has raised money for their Thanksgiving basket-project. Precautions are in place to ensure the food is delivered safely.

In addition to donating personally, they secure corporate sponsorships and volunteer services from companies like Chevron and Supervisor Mike Maggard, Rotary also receives in-kind donations from Standard School District, the Kern County Sheriff's Office, Varner Brothers, and Print Dirt Cheap.

The efforts and the generosity of Rotarians help to ensure that these families have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The food baskets will be distributed to preselected families at the Standard Middle School Multi-Purpose Room located at 1222 N. Chester Avenue.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking to help honor our veterans with a light show of their own. The United Veterans of Kern Memorial Day and Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Association need candles before Wednesday. This year marks the third annual Operation Lights of Thanks event.

Right now the groups are asking for donations of votive candles to use for the display. You can bring or ship the candles to the historic Union Cemetery.

Blessing Corner Ministries will be hosting its annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday. The event will be located at the intersection of Union Avenue and 1st Street from 11:30 a.m. through 2 p.m.
This dinner is free to the public and if you would like some food you'll need to arrive early. Only 800 meals will be served at the Blessing Corner.

An additional 100 meals will be served at a designated location. That food will be served to homeless residents. More than 200 Thanksgiving meals will be delivered to neighboring seniors and veterans.

And Happy Jacks Pie and Burgers downtown are focusing all their attention on "pies" this week. Hundreds of to-go orders for the holiday including 60 pies picked up by Jim Burke Ford to be donated to the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

A busy holiday for the local car dealer, which is also passing out face masks at several locations around town as part of Ford's PPE program and their Dream Builders program.

And every year The Mission at Kern County helps hundreds of people during the Thanksgiving holiday and this year will be no different. The Mission will be providing up to about 500 meals to people in need on Thanksgiving Day.

The meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Mission on East 21st Street.

The meals will be served outdoors and anyone attending is required to wear a mask and practice social distancing.