SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Thanksgiving with the Salvation Army will be different in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We knew that we were going to do something," says Captain Sean Kelsley, who oversees the Salvation Army East County Operations. "The question was, what would it look like?"
For the past 30 years, the Salvation Army held large, family-style gatherings to feed people experiencing homelessness, the disabled, and families in need at Golden Hall for Thanksgiving. They plan for 1,800 people, plus volunteers.
But a gathering of 2,000+ people is strictly forbidden under California and San Diego County COVID-19 guidelines.
In its place, the Salvation Army will offer "grab-and-go" style meals at four locations around the county.
"We're just glad to be able to be here," says Captain Kelsey. "However people celebrate the holidays, they'll at least be able to get some turkey and some gravy and all that good stuff."
People will also receive an additional bag of fruit and snacks with their meals.
In addition to providing food, Captain Kelsey says it's a way to connect with people and help them through whatever hardships they face.
"It allows us to encourage people and find out about a situation that is so dire, that maybe we can wrap around that individual that family, get them plugged in, and get them connected so they can get back on their feet," he says.
Service for the meals will start at 11 am at the following locations:
Oceanside Corps: 3935 Lake Blvd, Oceanside, CA 92056
Centre City Corps: 825 7th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Citadel Corps: 4170 Balboa Ave, San Diego, CA 92117
El Cajon Red Shield Center: 1025 E. Main St, El Cajon, CA 92021