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Thanksgiving in the Castro

Organizations host holiday dinners


By Keith Burbank


During a fall season almost four hundred years ago in Plymouth, Massachusetts, local residents celebrated a bounty of good food by giving thanks for three days. Every year, people celebrate Thanksgiving with food and goodwill, and this year will be no exception as organizations in San Francisco are hosting lunches and dinners, even breakfast, to share the bounty of bread and kindness throughout the holiday.

In the Castro, Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church is providing dinner Wednesday the week before Thanksgiving, said parish manager Mike Poma. The church will be serving up to 135 people in Ellard Hall, Nov. 14, at 100 Diamond St. The doors open about 4:15 p.m. with dinner staring at about 6 p.m. Separately, people interested in donating food to local food banks can bring five canned goods to the pancake breakfast Nov. 11 at Most Holy Redeemer.

Three food pantries in District 8 are providing chickens, cranberry sauce and other holiday accompaniments for Thanksgiving. All three are open to the general public. St. Aidan’s, on the corner of Gold Mine and Diamond Heights Boulevard, is distributing food Fridays at 1 p.m. Shepherd of the Hills, 395 Addison St., is distributing food Saturdays, 9 a.m. Hosanna Celebration Center, 754 14th St., near Duboce Triangle, is distributing food Tuesdays at noon. All three pantries are providing food on a weekly basis, according to District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener’s office.

Not far from the Castro, All Saints’ Episcopal Church in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, is hosting Thanksgiving brunch the Saturday after Thanksgiving from 10:30 a.m. until noon in the parish hall, said Rector Kenneth Schmidt. “Everyone is welcome,” Schmidt said. All Saints’ is located at 1350 Waller St., between Masonic and Ashbury streets. Schmidt said the parish hall would be easy to find, as directions would be clearly marked. This is a smaller version of what is done at St. Anthony’s in the Tenderloin, Schmidt said.

Numerous San Francisco sites for seniors at least 60 years of age will be open for meals either Thanksgiving Day, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or at least one day during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. Many of the senior center sites are having Thanksgiving dinner at lunchtime the day before Thanksgiving. Three sites are serving Thanksgiving dinner Thanksgiving Day: Curry Senior Center, John King Senior Community and Francis of Assisi Community (see more information below).

The Castro Senior Center, 117 Diamond St., will have a traditional Thanksgiving meal the day before Thanksgiving for seniors 60 years of age and older. Darin Raffaelli, senior sites manager for Project Open Hands, which is involved with serving the dinner, said seniors should call (415) 863-3507, before November 9th to make reservations because “this is a big event,” Raffaelli said.

The Curry Senior Center, 333 Turk St., will be open Thursday through Sunday serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal at lunch Thursday. Tickets are handed out on a first-come, first served basis starting at 8 a.m., Raffaelli said. The “tickets go fast.” The Curry Senior Center can serve 185 people at 11 a.m. and again at noon.

At the John King Senior Community, 500 Raymond St. in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, seniors 60 years of age and older can partake in a traditional Thanksgiving meal at lunch Thanksgiving Day at 11:30 a.m. Raffaelli recommends seniors call (415) 239-9919, at least a day ahead of time to make reservations. When calling, ask to speak to someone about the Project Open Hands meal program.

The Francis of Assisi Community, 145 Guerrero St., is a senior residential community, but the dining room is open to the public. The dining room is open for a Thanksgiving meal at noon Thanksgiving Day to seniors 60 years of age and older, and again, Raffaelli recommends seniors call (415) 861-5790, at least a day ahead to make reservations. The Francis of Assisi Community will be open Thursday through Sunday, but closed the day before Thanksgiving.

The Downtown Senior Center, 481 O’Farrell St., is closed Thanksgiving Day, but open for meals to seniors 60 years or age and older, Friday to Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. The Aquatic Park Senior Center, 890 Beach St., is open for meals to seniors 60 years of age and older only Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

City Team Ministries, 164 6th Street, between Mission and Howard streets, is serving Thanksgiving dinner the day before Thanksgiving from noon to 5 p.m. on a first come, first served, basis. Everyone is welcome. Paul Aldama, client supervisor with City Team, said the team typically serves 40 people at a time. As people leave, the team lets more people into the dining hall.

Martin De Porres House of Hospitality, 225 Potrero Ave., between 15th and 16th streets, will have breakfast from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., and lunch from noon to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Lunch will include a turkey dinner, music, coffee, tea, milk, and pastries, said staff member Jeff Leggett. “We turn nobody away. We do the same thing Christmas Eve.”

St. Anthony’s Dining Room, 150 Golden Gate Ave. between Leavenworth and Jones streets, is hosting Thanksgiving dinner Thanksgiving Day from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The first hour is reserved for seniors, people with disabilities, and families. The last two hours are open to everyone. Dinner will be a traditional turkey dinner and may include pumpkin pie, said a staff member.

City Impact, 230 Jones St., will be hosting a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., said staff member Michelle Scott. The charity does one sitting for dinner, and space is limited to 500 people. Attendance at the religious service is not required for passersby. Also, groceries will be available after dinner. In addition, City Impact delivers meals at Thanksgiving time.

 


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