Why some L.A. food banks are handing out Thanksgiving chickens this year
In a city starved for fresh food, some small businesses are taking advantage.
The first wave of Thanksgiving offerings in Los Angeles this year are coming from a growing number of homeless shelters and food pantries that are feeding the homeless and food-insecure during the holiday.
The latest to announce an offering is the West Hollywood Rescue Mission, which will give donors a “mini Thanksgiving dinner” in the shelter’s kitchen, said founder and head chef Jim McBride.
For the past four years, the Mission has given away turkeys and other birds. This year, it will give out “full Thanksgiving dinners,” McBride said.
“It’s our way of spreading some kindness. We want it to be as much as we can for the people who need us,” he said.
In the next few days, the Mission will provide turkeys and other birds to a number of homeless shelters and food pantries around the city for the holidays this year.
On November 6, the Mission is also hosting a “Turkey Faire,” on its kitchen patio, to hand out turkeys and other birds to anyone who’s willing to come by and donate the animals, McBride said.
“We want to hand out turkeys and other birds to as many people as we can,” he said. “We are a nonprofit. We don’t have a storefront or anything. We can’t afford to be a commercial organization with a cash register.”
On the second day of Thanksgiving, the Mission will give out turkeys to homeless people at the Salvation Army on Hollywood Boulevard, McBride said.
“We thought it would be nice to go out there and hand out the bird, let people see what it is, let them see if it’s edible,” he said.
As for the Mission itself, McBride, who grew up in a small town in Alabama, is trying to remain optimistic.
“We are a small business that takes time, time, time,” he said. “It’s hard to stay small, but this time is different. People like having people come in and say thanks for what they do.”
The Mission has found a few turkeys this year at the Angel City Rescue Mission where it is holding a Thanksgiving dinner for the first time.
“It’s kind of like, ‘Thank you. It looks like a