With new state safety restrictions imposed to rein in rising COVID cases, nonprofit organizations that normally host large Thanksgiving gatherings have canceled these events. Homeless and poor people, however, have not been abandoned as many of these same organizations are providing alternative ways to deliver a Thanksgiving meal to those in need.
Here’s a list of the organizations that are lending a hand and where people who need a hand can go:
⋄ HopeWorks, 1201 Third NW, will provide breakfast on Thanksgiving morning from 9-10 a.m., and a Thanksgiving lunch with traditional food fare from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The indoor dining area at HopeWorks will be closed and all meals are to go. Lunch food is being provided by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. About 400 people are expected to be served.
⋄ Good Shepherd Center, 218 Iron SW, will offer traditional Thanksgiving foods on Thanksgiving, prepared hot and assembled to go. More than 300 people are expected to pick up meals. The center also provides a regular community meal, Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
⋄ The Rock at Noon Day, 2400 Second NW, will provide curbside meals, every day Thanksgiving week, Tuesday through Friday and on Sunday, and a meal of traditional Thanksgiving foods on Thanksgiving day, noon through 1:30 p.m., also via curbside distribution. The organization expects to serve up to 300 people.
⋄ Joy Junction will provide a traditional Thanksgiving day meal for about 110 people who are staying at the shelter. Because of COVID restrictions, Joy Junction has canceled its community Thanksgiving meal, normally held the day before the holiday at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Instead, the shelter will hand out about 200 individual Thanksgiving meals that day from its Lifeline of Hope trucks at stops along its regular routes in specific communities, as well as deliver 250 meals to the Westside Emergency Housing Shelter.
⋄ St. Felix Food Pantry/McDonald’s: While the indoor dining area at this Rio Rancho McDonald’s at N.M. 528 and Southern Boulevard will not serve sit-down Thanksgiving meals this year. People can pick up a Thanksgiving day meal of non-traditional foods from the drive-through, providing they have a voucher from St. Felix Pantry (call 891-8075 for further information). St. Felix expects about 1,500 meals to be provided.
⋄ While Steelbridge has canceled the large Thanksgiving day meal that it would normally do in conjunction with The Rock at Noon Day, it will provide traditional Thanksgiving food fare in hot, to-go boxes from four locations on Nov. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each location will have 200 meals on hand for distribution. The four locations are: 2021 Second NW, outside the Steelbridge Resource Center; at Los Altos Park, Lomas and Eubank NE; Central and Charleston SE; and at Coors and Central SW.
⋄ Roadrunner Food Bank will expand its Thanksgiving week food distribution at the UNM stadium parking lot (east of the football stadium), 1926 Avenida César Chávez. A drive-through distribution will take place on Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from noon to 3 p.m. (or until all the food has been handed out). Roadrunner expects to serve about 1,200 households at this distribution. Traditional Thanksgiving fare will be provided as is available, otherwise food will include meat, produce and other shelf stable items. People may register in advance of the distribution at www.rrfb.org/volunteer or call 349-8837, to reduce waiting time and speed up the distribution.
⋄ Bernalillo County and Silver Horizons will be distributing groceries to seniors age 60 and older from 10 a.m. to noon from the parking lots of two locations: Nov. 23 and Dec. 21, Rio Bravo Senior Center, 3910 Isleta SW; and Nov. 24 and Dec. 22, Sheriff’s Posse outdoor facility, 10308 Second NW. Seniors picking up food are asked to wear masks, stay in their vehicles and remain in line. The four distributions combined are expected to provide food for 1,200 low-income seniors. For further information, call 468-7650.
⋄ Feed New Mexico Kids expects to distribute about 2,000 Thanksgiving meals to families in need who have been identified by staff at 35 schools in the Albuquerque metro area. Those selected families have been notified and should pickup their food packages from the appropriate school locations. For further information about Feed New Mexico Kids, go to feednmkids.com.
⋄ During its annual Take a Frozen Turkey to Work Day, employees of Sandia National Laboratories and Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Edgewood and Rio Rancho collected 250 frozen turkeys and more than $7,000. The turkeys and monetary donations have been routed to Roadrunner Food Bank and local pantries in the areas where the collections took place for distribution to families in those communities.