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Father Joe's Villages to serve Thanksgiving meals 'to go' amid pandemic

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Posted at 7:18 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 22:18:32-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Father Joe’s Villages will be making changes to how they serve their annual Thanksgiving meal due to the pandemic.

Deacon Jim Vargas says the meals will be prepared ‘to go’ and given to people outdoors in their courtyard. As a result, they plan on needing fewer volunteers this year. Those that will be there to give out the meals will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

Vargas says there is greater food insecurity in the community this year because of the pandemic. As a result, they are preparing more food.

“We typically serve about 700 or so. We’re prepared to serve close to a thousand this year because we know there’s an increased need,” Vargas said.

Anyone receiving a meal will also receive a backpack that comes with a face covering, hand sanitizer, and hygiene kits.

The pandemic is also impacting their annual 5K, which is held at Balboa Park on Thanksgiving Day. This year, the event will be virtual, and Vargas says registration for the event is down. That concerns Vargas because it is their second-largest fundraiser for the year, which brings in about $400,000 for food services.