Pre-Thanksgiving meal gives optimism amidst tough times in Oakland

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Thursday, November 24, 2022 7:31AM
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The pre-Thanksgiving turkey meal served at CityTeam Oakland Wednesday night looked delicious and made sure some residents won't go to bed hungry.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The pre-Thanksgiving turkey meal served at CityTeam Oakland Wednesday night looked delicious, but for some residents, the free meal means they won't go to bed hungry.

"Sometimes I don't know how to budget my food stamps that well, so sometimes I'll buy too much junk food," said Jake Dues.

For his dinner though, Dues was able to eat a plate filled to the brim with...

"Turkey, chicken, and ham out there, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mashed potatoes," said Angela Aguilar, who is executive director of CityTeam Oakland

It's been a tough year for those that we spoke with.

VIDEO: North Bay veterans collect food donations for communities in need this season

"Lost everything, had a job in construction, had my own studio apartment," said Dues.

"Fresh out of prison from the chain gang, working on my problems," said Alvin Vernal Johnson.

But on the eve of Thanksgiving, there is food yes, but there is also hope and gratefulness.

"Going through a lot of hard times but I'm trying to get it together. Lucky to be here on earth and have good holidays," said Johnson.

"I am a homeless person and I really appreciate the CityTeam opening back up so we can have Thanksgiving dinner," said Debra Smith.

Appreciation from a woman who spends much of her time walking the streets and picking up cans and bottles to recycle.

"It means a whole lot to me, it really does. Kind of tough, too, but I'm hanging in there," said Smith.

"It's good to be in a place where you feel welcome," said Dues.

Those with CityTeam Oakland say they will be back at their 722 Washington Street location in Oakland on Thanksgiving serving a turkey, ham, and chicken lunch and dinner. Lunch is at noon on Thursday and dinner is at 4 p.m. For more information go to their website here.

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