Who’s serving free Thanksgiving meals in San Jose?
Volunteers at Martha’s Kitchen prepare to distribute free Thanksgiving meals Nov. 24 and 25 at 4 p.m. Photo by Vicente Vera.

    At least five churches and local nonprofits are serving Thanksgiving meals around San Jose this week with the help of individual donations and local food banks, such as Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.

    “Second Harvest acquires food through a number of different sources, some donated, some purchased, and then distributes it out into neighborhoods throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo County,” Second Harvest of Silicon Valley spokesperson Diane Baker Hayward said.

    The food bank has distributed groceries and non-perishable food to hundreds of community service groups, including churches, schools and soup kitchens. Partnering organizations include Martha’s Kitchen and CityTeam, Hayward said, both of whom plan on serving turkey dinners this week.

    “We will be serving hot Thanksgiving meals on Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.,” CityTeam Chef Reynold Stewart said. “It will be a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and a pumpkin pie for dessert.”

    Locations in San Jose that will be serving Thanksgiving meals starting Nov. 24. Map by Vicente Vera.

    On Thanksgiving, residents can expect a free meal in a to-go container at the backdoor of CityTeam’s kitchen on 580 Charles St. in San Jose.

    Martha’s Kitchen will also distribute meals without pre-registration required at 311 Willow St. in San Jose starting at 4 p.m. Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. The kitchen reopens Nov. 30.

    Kevin Patterson, operations manager for Martha’s Kitchen, said many people have called asking how they can reserve a plate but the kitchen does not require registration.

    “I don’t know where people are getting this information that we’re reserving spots. We’ve never done that for Thanksgiving,” he said.

    St. Joseph’s Family Center in Gilroy will be passing out hot meals to go for homeless people between noon and 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, said Vicky Martin, St. Joseph Family Center’s director of community engagement.

    “People can find us through the gym at the kitchen of St. Mary Parish on 11th First St. in Gilroy,” she said.

    The center will also have drive-thru grocery pick-up 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 at 7950 Church St. in Gilroy.

    Sacred Heart is distributing Thanksgiving meals at 1381 South First St. until 6 p.m. Nov. 24 and will provide walk-up meals until 4 p.m. Nov. 25.

    Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen, a San Jose-based nonprofit that serves 1 million meals annually, will extend its service by an hour and increase meal capacity for Thanksgiving Day, said spokesperson Gisela Bushey.

    The meal, which will include turkey, yams, stuffing and green beans, will be served at the Vietnamese Seventh Day Adventist Church at 1066 South Second St. from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

    Contact Vicente Vera at [email protected] or follow him @vicentejvera on Twitter.

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