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City of Oakland Hosts 30th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner a Little Differently for 2021

Adjustments Made, But Event Goes On

Day of Thanks dinner

Oakland, CA – On Tuesday, November 23, the 30th Annual Community Day of Thanks dinner hosted by the City of Oakland’s Human Services Department will look a little different due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Community Day of Thanks Dinner, in its 30th year, is part of the City’s Hunger Program founded in 1985 during Mayor Lionel J. Wilson’s administration. With the support of donors and volunteers, the City typically serves thousands of low-income families, seniors, and persons experiencing homelessness with a hearty Thanksgiving meal in a communal, festive atmosphere. However, this year, in response to the global health pandemic, the celebration will look a little different:

  • New – the event will be mobile as well as providing a limited number of meals for pick up at the Marriott in Downtown Oakland.
  • More meals – this year, the City will provide 3,500 meals to Oakland residents, an increase from 2,000 meals in years past.
  • Volunteers – The Marriott will act as staging location for meal preparation and distribution, with volunteers handing out food on site and delivering to food pantries sites throughout the City.

Photo Opportunities:

  • Oakland Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Downtown Oakland

11 am – 1 pm

Anticipating 400 guests; Oakland Library will also be on site.

  • Southwest end of Lake Merritt

12 pm

The distribution team will walk around the southwest end of the Lake handing out meals via hand-pulled wagons.

  • Project Outreach/East Oakland Food Pantry, 1360 107th Avenue E

12 pm

Run by Martha Paul, a founding member of the City’s hunger program, who has been part of the Thanksgiving Dinner/Community Day of Thanks since it started 30 years ago

See page 2 of the attached flyer for a list of distribution sites and times.

“We are grateful to the many volunteers who generously donate their time and resources to this wonderful event”, said Sara Bedford, Director of Human Services. “The pandemic created enormous isolation and food insecurity. This day brings us together – safely – to share a holiday meal and remind ourselves of power and joy of coming together as a community.”

The City expresses its appreciation for the Oakland Marathon’s t-shirt donations provided for this year’s meal tote bag. In appreciation of all donations, the City is asking for monetary donations to support meal preparations. A donation of $26 will provide a meal for one guest and $104 for a family of four. Donations are tax deductible. Please make your checks payable to the City of Oakland Hunger Program, and mail to:

City of Oakland Hunger Program, Attn: Talia Rubin

150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 4340, Oakland, CA 94612

Tagged with: Newsroom, Human Services


Posted: November 18th, 2021 10:44 AM

Last Updated: November 18th, 2021 10:49 AM

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