PASO ROBLES — For 38 years, Thanksgiving for Paso Robles has provided homemade meals for anyone who comes to their table on the third Thursday of November.
Thanksgiving for Paso Robles is a celebration of thanks serving over 1,500 men, women, and children from all communities, a traditional Thanksgiving meal at no cost. A true expression of community that brings diverse people together to share the day with others.
“We welcome all to come enjoy a dinner with us whether they have a financial need or a social need and just need to be with people,” said Chairman David Kudija. “There’s a lot of people in the area who are just by themselves and would embrace having companionship, and we welcome them with open arms.”
One hundred percent funded by donations and run by volunteers, it costs about $9,000 and 200 people to put on the annual dinner. Volunteers begin prepping and cooking the meals on Monday and are ready to serve almost 2,000 people by Thanksgiving Thursday.
David explains the operation as a one-day restaurant. Everything is set up, served, and then taken down all in one day. It is a lot of work, but when speaking with David, it sounds pretty worth it.
Thanksgiving for Paso Robles starts looking to volunteers in October. Assistance is needed for various jobs throughout the week and day of the dinner. Volunteers helps raise money for the supplies, pick up, and then prepare the meals. Then its pre-cleaning, decorating, setting tables and the best part — serving the meals. But it doesn’t stop there! There is still a job for bussing and cleaning up the aftermath.
The meals are made with love at the Culinary Academy in Paso Robles.
“The Culinary Academy has stepped up the last two years and done a great job supporting our effort and we appreciate it,” said David.
On the menu, this Thanksgiving will again be a traditional meal with homemade oven-roasted turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, mixed vegetables, salad, candied yams, cranberry sauce, rolls, and house-baked pie.
This year, David expects to have a full dining room. The traditional sitdown meal is complete with fine china, table cloths, and plenty of good company. But, if you are unable to make it to the dinner, volunteers are happy to bring your meal to you. Just call to schedule your delivery by October 19.
And remember, at everyone is welcome to the table at Thanksgiving for Paso Robles.
Serving dinner from noon to 2 p.m., all are welcome to enjoy a hand-cooked sitdown Thanksgiving meal at no cost.
For those who are homebound, volunteers can deliver a warm Thanksgiving meal. Call the committee at (805) 239-4137 by November 19 to schedule a delivery.
For more information on Thanksgiving for Paso Robles or to sign up to volunteer or donate, visit thanksgivingforpasorobles.com