Lake Merritt Methodist – Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving for Downtown Oakland

Each year, the day before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day, folks from all over the Oakland community gather to serve the homeless, elderly, those in need, at Lake Merritt U.M. Church, located in downtown Oakland. On the day before, beginning at 7:00 a.m., volunteers arrive to prepare the turkeys for baking. Turkeys are usually in the ovens (first round) by 8:30 or earlier.  All volunteers are welcome to help! 

On Thanksgiving morning, volunteers start arriving around 8:30 a.m. to set the tables, help with food preparation, etc. Dinner service begins at 1:00 (if you want to help serve dinner, please try to arrive at 12:30 – there is an orientation session so you know what to do), and goes until 3:00 or 3:30, and “take home” boxes are given out, plus the bags of turkey carcasses at around 2:30 – 3:00.  After the meal is done, all leftover food is taken to a Homeless Shelter in downtown Oakland (where it is greatly welcomed). The last group of volunteers cleans up, runs the dishwashers, mops the floors, puts tables away and is done around 5:00 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering, please see me – you are welcome to come for an hour or more – whatever suits your schedule.

Most food for this feast is donated: turkeys, potatoes, beans, rolls, salad, and pies – some is purchased from the Alameda County Food Bank, the rest is either by donation of items or money. Last year we served close to 700 meals, including take-home, and anticipate the need will be greater this year. We at Skyline have been asked to help provide pies! All pies are welcome – (hopefully not all pumpkin). They can be homemade, purchased frozen and cooked, purchased ready to serve, etc. (We can’t use frozen, uncooked pies as all the ovens are in use for preparing the rest of the dinner.)  We need to furnish at least 35 pies (more would be better).  I will deliver the pies around 10:00 on Thanksgiving Day – please see me to arrange when and where you want to bring your pies. There will be a sign-up sheet which I will have each Sunday beginning November16th. Thank you so much for agreeing to aid this project!

Paula Byrens

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