Lutheran church feeds hungry in Concord

November 27, 2008 5:57:38 PM PST
In Contra Costa County, the Lutheran Church of Concord opened its doors for a huge Thanksgiving meal. It's an annual event there, but this year, the economy is so bad, that people walking in the door represented a much broader cross-section of the local community, than in past years.

There was turkey with all the extras and music for a standard fare on Thanksgiving Day. But in Contra Costa County, not one bite was taken for granted.

"How's your food?" asked ABC7's Laura Anthony.
"It's all right. It's pretty good, still warm," said Nicholas Dennis.

The First Lutheran Church of Concord served hundreds of hungry people this holiday, many of them families with children, no questions asked.

Some had been here before, but for others, accepting a free meal is a new and humbling experience.

"This was just the best option for us, because you know... times are tight, for a lot of people," said Clayton Bassett, from Concord.

"Some of us don't have a family to go to, so we probably wouldn't celebrate Thanksgiving. We'd just let it go," said Jeffrey Harmon, from Concord.

As usual many who came here today are homeless. Many others are not, but told us they're living close to the edge.

"If I wasn't here I'd be eating baked potatoes tonight for dinner," said Kathleen MacKenzie.

MacKenzie is not homeless. She lives in a trailer, but is disabled, and can barely make her rent, much less buy an expensive meal.

"I come to churches and get food, and I don't drive because of my epileptic seizures, so I have to take busses, and that's extra money too. So it's just real hard," said MacKenzie.

For 8-year-old volunteer Doug Olson the gift is in the giving.

"What are you thankful for this thanksgiving?" asked Anthony.
"My family, shelter, food, water, and basically everything that I have," said Doug Olson, a volunteer.