Bay Area Rescue Mission feeds 1,000 families Thanksgiving with 'boxes of hope'

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area Rescue Mission expects to provide 1,000 families with 'boxes of hope' to ensure Thanksgiving Dinner is on the table for families in need of assistance in Richmond.

"Me and my husband have been unemployed since the pandemic started so this is going to give us a good Thanksgiving meal for us and the girls," said Melanie Duran of Richmond.

It's the stories like Duran's that put it all into perspective.

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She has depended on donations from the Bay Area Rescue Mission to make her holidays special for the last several years but said this year things have been especially tough financially.

The drive at 123 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond runs until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Grateful was the word at the annual Thanksgiving food box giveaway Tuesday, made possible by donations from people, corporations, and area churches.

"It helps people that really need it and feed the ones who don't have food to eat and their kids," said Vickie Albert, a longtime Richmond resident.

The plan is to help 1,000 families in Richmond put food on the table for Thanksgiving during hard times. The need this year is greater than ever before, says the organization's CEO. He said the families who come out for help are facing difficult decisions.

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"They're making a choice - 'Do we have a Thanksgiving meal at all? Do we pay rent? Do we buy food? Do we buy medicine?'," said John Anderson, CEO of Bay Area Rescue Mission.

The walk-up drive was held outside and recipients were spaced out in line. Each 'box of hope' was stuffed with turkey, canned goods, other shelf-stable items, and a bag of dinner rolls.

Pastors from partner churches also offered a message of hope as people waited in line.

After the Thanksgiving drive ends the Bay Area Rescue Mission will begin preparing for its next big challenge: the annual Christmas food distribution drive.

The organization, seeing a steady rise in the need for help, is forecasting an even greater need this Christmas as well.

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