Volunteers needed for Paso Robles community Thanksgiving dinner

PASO ROBLES — “Thanksgiving for Paso Robles” is a celebration of thanks serving more than 1,000 men, women, and children a traditional Thanksgiving meal at Centennial Park at no cost. It is a true expression of community that brings diverse people together to share the day with others and is made possible through the generosity of caring individuals, students, organizations, churches, and businesses.

“With so much to do the entire week leading up to Thanksgiving Day, the event takes about 200 people working nearly 1,200 man-hours to put on Thanksgiving for Paso Robles each year,” said Committee member Jennifer Bravo.

Volunteers organized and executed the entire event. A large turnout is expected this year again and assistance is needed more than ever. Funds must be raised to purchase the food, drivers to pick it up, cooks to prepare and others to serve. There is also a need for those interested in prep, decorating, setting tables, bussing, and cleaning.

It is anticipated that 1,000 meals will be served and due to the high volume and demands of the undertaking, all volunteers must pre-register. Volunteers must be 13 years of age or older and kitchen volunteers must be 16 or older. There will also be opportunities for families with children to help decorate carry-out boxes and deliver meals.

“On Monday, the cooking of the turkeys takes place at the Culinary Arts Academy,” Bravo said. “On Tuesday, the turkey and ham are sliced and pies are cooked at the CAA while another group of volunteers sterilize the kitchen and service ware at Centennial Park. On Wednesday, we set-up and decorate the dining room and a lot more food prep takes place at the park. Children can help color pictures to decorate the To-Go boxes for meal delivery. On Thursday, in addition to serving 400-500 sit down meals, nearly 100 meals are delivered to the homebound and take out dinners are assembled. Then, at the end of the day, everything must be cleaned, inventoried, put away and taken back to storage.”

To register as a volunteer, visit thanksgivingforpasorobles.com.

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