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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Thanksgiving meal, fundraiser, pushes to help LA County’s homeless

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With homelessness on the rise in Los Angeles County, Thanksgiving 2021 was a goal shared by many Southern Californians.

The week leading up to the holiday was filled with food gifts, free hot meals, and other activities aimed at helping people around the region.

Drumstick Dash L.A. took to the streets of North Hollywood on Thursday, November 25, to raise money to help feed the homeless and others in need.

The race is billed by the organizers as the largest 5K/10K run in Los Angeles, with over 5,000 people registered to participate. Runners, joggers and walkers made their way through the NoHo Arts District, audiences cheered while DJs played music to help inspire their efforts.

Organizers said all proceeds will help Hope of the Valley provide more than 500,000 hot meals for homeless men, women and children.

“At Hope of the Valley, we believe that it takes an entire community to work together to address the humanitarian crisis of homelessness. Our annual Drumstick Dash 5K/10k provides an opportunity where people can shake their feet. so that others can eat, and together we can provide for those most in need in our community,” said founder and CEO Ken Craft.

Meanwhile, LA’s stalwart Midnight Mission plans to serve Thanksgiving brunch to nearly 2,000 homeless and nearly homeless individuals and families, according to Georgia Berkovich, director of public affairs.

On the menu: 3,500 pounds of turkey, topped with 50 gallons of gravy, 3,500 pounds of ham with glaze, 1,000 pounds of garlic mashed potatoes, 750 pounds of seasonal vegetables, 250 pounds of cranberry sauce, 300 pounds of dinner rolls and 300 pounds of dessert, Berkovich said.

Volunteers were expected to include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, councilor/mayor candidate Kevin Deleon and Representative Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles.

In Pasadena, volunteers from Union Station Homeless Services serve prepared Thanksgiving meals to residents in need on Wednesday, marking the 51st anniversary of Dinner at the Park.

In normal years, the organization would host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner served by volunteers in the park, but the ongoing pandemic forced organizers to adapt once again during this year’s annual celebration. In total, 2,800 individually packaged meals were provided, according to Brenda Lynch, associate director of communications.

In Hollywood, The Laugh Factory plans to host its 41st annual free Thanksgiving dinner. Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada said top comedians including Tiffany Haddish, Dane Cook and Craig Robinson planned to participate.

City News Service contributed to this report

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