Oakland's Hunger Program hosts Thanksgiving dinner, coat giveaway

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There are 2,200 low-income families, seniors, and homeless who are having an early Thanksgiving meal this afternoon at the City Center Marriot in Oakland.

The annual feast is part of the city's Hunger Program, which Oakland Mayor Lionel J. Wilson's administration started in 1985.

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Producer for the event Talia Ruben works for the city's Human Services Department. She says the best part about this event is getting to serve the people. No eligibility is required and all are welcome.

Aside from the dinner, hundreds of gently used coats will be given out. "Especially with the rain coming in tonight I think it's really really important people are able to walk away with not just a full stomach but a warm coat. I think it adds to the warmth of the event itself," Rubin said.

Oakland Resident Mortimer Landsberg has volunteered every year since the event started in 1985.

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"There are so many people that need our assistance. And it's a pleasure to give back and understand that what I have is a lot better than what some other people have," Landsberg said. He hopes people feel cared for and loved when they leave.

The event is donation based. Some of the big names behind the support include Kaiser, the Oakland A's and the Warriors.

There are 300 volunteers who make the event happen.
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