It’s been a year of hardship and loss for so many people in Los Angeles. If you’re in a position to share your blessings, these local charities could use your time and money this Thanksgiving.
Union Rescue Mission
Each year on Thanksgiving, hundreds of volunteers flock to feed the people of Skid Row. The Union Rescue Mission (URM), which serves an average of 2,300 meals each day to the homeless, is currently looking for volunteers to serve this year’s holiday meal. URM also operates a thrift store in Covina that needs volunteers to sort clothing and organize items. Volunteers are required to follow safety and social distancing guidelines at all events. 545 S. San Pedro St., downtown, 213-347-6300, urm.org.
Foothill Unity Center
Pasadena’s Foothill Unity Center hosts an annual food distribution event to provide families with everything they need to cook their own traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This year the program (which also includes serving lunch to homeschooled children and assisting pet owners with feeding their four-legged friends) will be altered to keep all volunteers six feet apart, but the center says their mission can’t be stopped. In 2019, the organization provided 7,525 bagged lunches to homeless men and women. The center also assists individuals in finding jobs and homes. 191 N. Oak Ave., Pasadena, 626-584-7420, foothillunitycenter.org.
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Central City Neighborhood Partners
Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP) feeds approximately 90 to 150 families every two weeks. The nonprofit is a collaboration of over 20 agencies that focus on providing resources for low-income families and communities. The CCNP also hosts a phone bank; volunteers can download an app and make calls on behalf of the organization for food and financial assistance. 501 S. Bixel St., Westlake, 213-482-8618, [email protected].
Westside Food Bank
While the Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica (WSFB) is not currently accepting in-person volunteers due to COVID restrictions, the nonprofit is holding a virtual holiday turkey drive and asking for donations from corporations, grocery retailers, local farms, faith-based institutions, and neighborhood groups for bulk produce and pantry items. Individuals are encouraged to start an independent food drive, and the WSFB website has information on exactly what goods are needed most at this time. wsfb.org.
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Manna Food Bank
Manna Food Bank feeds an average of 1,400 people per month, which is impressive since it operates out of a 700-square-foot house in the Conjeo Valley. The small staff works alongside dozens of volunteers who bag groceries and organize donations. Individuals and families place their orders for groceries with a volunteer, and then pick up when ready. While closed on Thanksgiving Day, Manna is looking for volunteers to help during the week, and will be open before and after the holiday. 3020 Crescent Way, Thousand Oaks, 805-497-4959, mannaconejo.org.
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