SALINAS VALLEY — A variety of Thanksgiving events are giving back to South Monterey County families in need this holiday season.
Monterey County District 3 Supervisor Chris Lopez once again partnered with California Water Service to lend a helping hand to local families for the second year in a row.
With the health guidance of not having family gatherings for Thanksgiving, Lopez and Cal Water wanted to help alleviate some of that anxiety by distributing care packages — including a turkey voucher and matching gift card — to families in the area.
“The need in our community this year has been exacerbated by the economic challenges, health challenges and natural disasters that have impacted our entire state this year,” Lopez said. “Making this holiday a little easier for our families is our goal this holiday season. In South County, we always look out for one another and this is just another small way to keep that spirit alive.”
Twenty-five care packages were delivered to several local schools in South Monterey County that assisted in selecting and distributing them to families. Some of those organizations included: San Ardo Elementary, San Lucas Elementary, La Gloria Elementary in Gonzales, El Gavilan Elementary in Soledad, Arroyo Seco Academy in Greenfield, Del Rey Elementary in King City and Chualar Elementary.
“At Cal Water, we’re more than just a water utility; we’re part of the communities we serve. This year more than ever, we are proud to join forces with Supervisor Lopez and other community partners to help our neighbors in need and make the holidays a little happier for their families,” said Marc Bloom, a local Cal Water manager.
In Soledad, Thanksgiving meals were also distributed on Sunday as part of Celebration Nation Foundation’s campaign called #ThankYouFarmWorkers.
The project’s aim was to provide Thanksgiving meal essentials along with blankets, jackets and other winter items to more than 3,000 farmworkers and low-income families. The campaign had four distribution locations to reach the most underserved population around the state.
Locally, more than 500 families were assisted at the Soledad event Nov. 22 at the South County YMCA. The free events only asked for a person’s name and contact information.
“It’s the seasons of giving and what better way to celebrate than to give thanks to our essential farmworkers who have worked tirelessly through the worst of times,” said Celebration Nation Foundation in a news release. “From a global pandemic to record-breaking heat waves and wildfires, farmworkers have risen to the occasion and sacrificed so that we could shelter in place and contribute to the flattening of the curve. They too deserve to be highlighted and praised this season.”
On Monday, King City Police Department hosted a Thanksgiving Around the Town Scavenger Hunt to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
Participants were invited to pick up their first set of clues from the police department and then search around town to find other clues, before returning to the station with their findings. The first 15 families to solve all the clues won a Thanksgiving dinner, complete with a turkey, two sides and a dessert.
In Greenfield, free Thanksgiving dinners for senior residents were provided by the City of Greenfield on Wednesday. Local seniors were able to receive a dinner with all the trimmings after contacting city staff prior to the distribution.