Hundreds show up for annual Poverello House Thanksgiving meal

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Dozens of volunteers decided to give back this holiday by preparing the biggest Thanksgiving meal in town for some neighbors in need.

It was a 5 a.m. start for volunteers and staff at the Poverello House to prepare hundreds of turkeys and pounds of potatoes for their annual Thanksgiving meal.

"We don't have a lot in this world, but there are others that have less than us and we just want to be able to show that we're thankful for what we have," said volunteer Dora Rodriguez. "We're thankful for everyone else out there, that they're here. They're human beings and we got to do what we got to do to help each other."

50 volunteers were on hand to cook and serve.

"We want to instill that we've got a gift and every day is different for a lot of these homeless people," said volunteer Jaime Carlos. "It's really difficult and we just want to be able to help provide and volunteer and help out where we need."

For staff, the work started weeks before and they say the need this year is greater than ever.

"Each and every year we see more need," said CEO Zachary Darrah, "With more need comes the need for more food, more hands, more space in the kitchen to make more meals. There's a lot of logistics and moving parts to meeting the increased need we see year after year."

Around 500 folks stopped by for Thursday's feast and another 500 meals were sent out to different organizations in the community.

"It started with peanut butter sandwiches out of the back of Papa Mike's car," said Darrah. "Today we went from that to we do half a million meals from this kitchen for the community. Quite an expansion, quite an ability to meet the expanding need in our community."

The Poverello house depends on donations and volunteers year round. For details on how to help, visit their website.
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