In tough times, a feast to be thankful for
on November 26, 2010
They had their choice of all the classics: Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, rice and gravy, salad and more. There was cake for dessert.
It was all for the asking at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program’s Souper Center kitchen.About 300 diners, many of them homeless, gave their Thanksgiving orders to one of the dozens of eager volunteers in green aprons.
According to Executive Director Art Hatchett, they cooked 35 turkeys and hundreds of potatoes. Volunteers started preparing the food Monday. Normally they serve cafeteria style, he said, but on Thanksgiving day, they do a sit down meal with table service.
“These folks don’t get waited on too often, I suppose. It’s kind of cool,” said Gordon Stone, who volunteers at the Souper Center every Saturday with his wife, Suzi. “I get more back from these folks than I give.”
Darrell and Delores Algeré sat back after they finished their meals, and Delores reminisced about the ribs her father grilled for Thanksgiving.
“I’d be sitting by that barbecue and as soon as he walked away I’d grab it and he’d come back and I’d be licking my fingers,” she said. “I could not wait.”
“Things are really sad these days, the economy is getting better they say, but it’s hard on people still,” Darrell said, “but I’m still blessed because I woke up today. Even if I can’t make a dime, I still woke up.”
Down the table from the Algerés, Z. Kim said a prayer before digging in. She said she had much to be thankful for: Her youngest son had a scholarship and was going to college after having trouble in school for years, her oldest son had a job working for Apple in Hawaii. She was getting ready to start computer classes to train for a new career.
After growing up in Alameda County, she said she moved to Richmond because the services for lower-income people were better.
“Richmond is a refuge,” she said. She counts that as a blessing too.
As the meal ended at one o’clock, the visitors gave a round of applause for their cooks and servers, and trickled out, bellies full and smiling.
Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.
Please send news tips to email@example.com.