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Father Joe’s Villages To Provide Meals, Hygiene Kits For Thanksgiving

Father Joe's Villages volunteers plate Thanksgiving meals for homeless San Di...

Photo by Father Joe's Villages

Above: Father Joe's Villages volunteers plate Thanksgiving meals for homeless San Diegans, Nov. 27, 2019.

Father Joe’s Villages will serve more than 1,000 Thanksgiving meals and hygiene kits Wednesday to people experiencing homelessness in San Diego.

Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, said this Thanksgiving will look different from years past.

Listen to this story by Jacob Aere.

“We won’t have congregate dining, because we want to keep people safe. But we will have turkey and all the trimmings,” Vargas said. “We are going to try and make it as festive as possible. What we will also include is a backpack. Everyone who comes will walk away with a backpack. The backpack will have hygiene kits, will have PPE’s like masks and sanitizing and a letter of encouragement.”

RELATED: A Crisis Within A Crisis: Food Insecurity And COVID-19

The effect of COVID-19 has increased hunger in San Diego. To combat the growing problem, Father Joe’s expanded their Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Line to mornings and evenings.

“Because of the increased food insecurity we’ve extended this to breakfast and dinner as well," Vargas said. "So we’ve been serving three meals a day here as well as the three meals that we always serve for those who are residing with us.”

Another aspect of Thanksgiving at Father Joe’s is their annual 5K Turkey Trot fundraiser. It will still take place this year, but participants will run on their own rather than in a large group through Balboa Park.

“The proceeds go to fund the meals that we serve here throughout the year," Vargas said. "Typically we gather about $400,000 and I’m concerned about that because our registrations are down this year.”

Father Joe’s Villages will continue to provide three daily meals to those in need and host a Christmas meal next month.

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Coronavirus cases are surging among Latino communities in the South Bay, and unemployment is on the rise there as well. While they only make up one third of the population in San Diego county, Latinos account for 60% of all cases. Meanwhile Governor Gavin Newsom gives a press conference from quarantine in his home after a family member was exposed ... Read more →

Aired: November 24, 2020 | Transcript

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Photo of Jacob Aere

Jacob Aere
Freelance Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a freelance reporter. In addition to covering the latest news and issues relevant to San Diego, I seek the overlooked voices of our community to tell their stories.

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