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Mama’s Pies sell out for a second year in a row

To kick off Thanksgiving week, Mama’s Kitchen volunteers organized an extra large delivery of pies. KPBS Reporter Melissa Mae got an inside look at their “Pie Central” operation.

Volunteers are getting ready for a huge Thanksgiving pie delivery to benefit a service that delivers food to critically ill San Diegans all year long.

Dozens of San Diego pastry chefs, caterers and bakeries all donated their time and talent to the annual Mama's Pie sale. This year, 3,200 pies were baked: traditional apple, dutch apple, pumpkin and pecan. They were packed up for distribution Monday at "Pie Central" in the Sorrento Mesa area.

Proceeds from the sale go to Mama's Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides nutritional support to San Diego residents at risk of malnutrition due to critical illnesses.


“Mama’s Kitchen steps in, just like a mom, to be able to take care of those in need,” said Jenna Novotny, director of development at Mama's Kitchen. “Each pie purchased helps to fund the preparation and delivery of twelve medically tailored meals for critically ill San Diegans, which is what Mama’s Kitchen does 365 days out of the year.”

Their operation now runs out of the Behind the Scenes Catering & Events warehouse.

John Crisafulli is the president and CEO of Behind the Scenes Catering & Events. His company began supporting Mama’s Kitchen and Mama’s Pies after a colleague who worked in the concert space needed Mama’s Kitchen's assistance.

Crisafulli said he appreciates that customers can "actually purchase a pie and know when you're sitting down at Thanksgiving that the money you spent, rather than just at a grocery store or whatnot, is gone to support such a great organization.”

Mama’s Kitchen serves about 700 clients throughout San Diego. Novotny said their clients are "those battling HIV, cancer, diabetes, congestive heart failure or have chronic kidney disease, and are at a point where they’re too sick to be able to shop or cook meals for themselves.”


Richard Moore has been a Mama’s Kitchen volunteer for seven years and wasn’t surprised that their Thanksgiving pies sold out for a second year in a row.

Moore said he gets great feedback every year from community members who purchase the pies.

“There’s a lot of appreciation that you’re not only getting a good pie, but you’re doing something good with it,” Moore said.

Mama’s Kitchen is very close to reaching their goal of raising $145,000 and are still accepting monetary donations at