'Anybody can come': SF's GLIDE Memorial Church prepares for first-ever outdoor Thanksgiving meal

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Thursday, November 26, 2020
GLIDE Memorial Church prepares for 1st-ever outdoor Thanksgiving meal
Things will look different this year, but GLIDE Memorial Church isn't letting a pandemic get in the way of making sure everyone has a proper Thanksgiving meal.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The annual Thanksgiving feast held at GLIDE Memorial Church in San Francisco gives a turkey meal to anyone who wants it.

Usually thousands are served inside, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, this year's meal will be served outside.

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"Totally different, I mean thank God it's not raining!" says Jean Cooper of GLIDE.

Those who come can either take their meal to-go, or sit under one of three tents on Ellis Street.

Organizers say some of their past regulars are now in hotels, and they've noticed a change in the types of people that they're serving food to.

"More people from the neighborhood who just can't make ends meat," says Cooper.

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Those like Troy Wehrli say 2020 has been his hardest year so far.

"It's been pretty tough man. I've had a rough time. I got a condition called COPD and if I catch the COVID I don't know if I'll make it or not," says Wehrli, who will be eating under one of the Glide tents come Thanksgiving.

A local known as "A.J.," who is a Vietnam veteran, will also be there.

"I look forward to the ham. They say they gonna have ham, I look forward for that," says A.J.

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This year, GLIDE will serve their Thanksgiving meal from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside their location at 330 Ellis Street in San Francisco.

Those with the non-profit organization say they usually serve 5,000 meals on Thanksgiving, but because of their limited hours, that will likely be reduced to 2,500 meals.

Nevertheless, "anybody can come, anybody," says Jean Cooper, as this will be their first holiday meal served outside.