Merced County Rescue Mission once again serving Thanksgiving meals

MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Hundreds of Thanksgiving meals will be served to people and families facing food insecurity or experiencing homeless this Thursday by the Merced County Rescue Mission.

"This year, instead of cooking 100 turkeys overnight, which is a horrendous, huge job, we ended up going to the store and buying pre-cooked turkey breast so we can just slice it and warm it. That'll be a whole lot easier," MCRM Director Bruce Metcalf said.

This year will mark the return of the Rescue Mission's large Thanksgiving meal gathering after it was halted in 2020 because of the pandemic.

For decades, the meal was hosted at the local Legion Hall, but will instead take place outdoors at the New Directions parking lot on East 15th Street in Merced from 11 am to 1 pm.

"Last year, unfortunately, we were not able to serve people but we didn't want that to happen again. We want to be able to serve people again. We want people to have a special day, so we're having to do something different and do it outside but we didn't want to miss the opportunity to help," Metcalf said.

Organizers say the goal at Thanksgiving is to not only offer folks a hot meal but to provide them with something special in their lives.

Volunteers are always encouraged to come out and do more than just serve food during the gathering.

"They're welcome to come out from about 10:30 am on Thanksgiving Day until 12 pm or 1 pm and just talk with people, distribute clothing, hand out food, help pick up and just be here with us," Metcalf said.

With the holiday fast approaching, organizers say the non-profit is still in need of many Thanksgiving meal staples.

"We still need cans of green beans, cans of corn and we need instant mash potato boxes," Metcalf said. "If people could bring those items, it would be great and they can drop them off at 644 W. 20th Street at our office."

The rescue mission will provide a ham meal during Christmas.

Organizers say any sort of monetary donation or ham and other food item donation is greatly appreciated.

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