Volunteers prepare traditional holiday meals at Fresno's Poverello House

'We hope that brings some of that love and care and they can feel that again during the season here at the Poverello House'.

Jason Oliveira Image
Saturday, December 25, 2021
Volunteers prepare holiday meals at Fresno's Poverello House
The downtown Fresno shelter served its popular pozole lunch on Christmas Eve, and is preparing to serve tamales to around 1,000 people on Christmas.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Eating tamales during the Christmas season is a holiday tradition shared by many, including those at the Poverello House.

For years, volunteers have prepared the traditional Mexican meal to be served on Christmas Day at the downtown Fresno shelter.

"We'll serve probably about 1,000 people with tamales and that not only is here but it goes throughout the community. So a lot of people out there will have a delicious Christmas meal," said Poverello House CEO Zack Darrah.

Darrah said the non-profit has spent the last six weeks preparing the special menu item that will be served Saturday at noon.

"A lot of the items are donated and what we have during the Christmas season are people who sponsor the entire meal. They pay for the costs for the entire meal, usually one individual or business."

The Poverello House serves free meals 365 days a year but tries to offer special dishes during certain holidays.

A number of kitchen volunteers were there on Christmas Eve to help treat visitors to a popular pozole lunch.

"It takes a lot of volunteers to run a kitchen and especially to do the special menu items. Just today and tomorrow we'll probably have 40 to 60 volunteers down here helping out," said Darrah.

Darrah said it's important for the shelter to offer these types of Christmas meals because they might be the only thing that gives visitors a sense of family during the holidays.

"Especially in our community, making tamales during the holidays is something they grew up doing in their households, with their parents and grandparents. And even for some of those in our community from Mexico where that's part of their tradition, we hope that brings some of that love and care and they can feel that again during the season here at the Poverello House," he said.

If you'd like to help out or volunteer during the holidays or at any other time, visit their website to apply.