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Rescue Mission serves up early Thanksgiving dinner

Oct 9, 2013

Published in the Santa Maria Times (Link to Article)

Food served by volunteers from local churches, nonprofit organizations and businesses was piled high onto plates for hundreds of Santa Maria residents getting a free Thanksgiving feast Tuesday.

“Santa Maria takes care of its people, and what isn’t provided, we will provide to make sure every mouth is fed for either a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner,” City Councilwoman Etta Waterfield said at the event.

The Central Coast Rescue Mission hosted the meal, as it has for more than a decade at the Veterans’ Memorial Building.

The Rescue Mission is a faith-based residential recovery program for men that provides spiritual renewal and vocational training and has three outreach ministries that feed the poor and homeless in Santa Maria.

“The team and its volunteers believe in a living God who can make all the difference in the world for someone — sometimes by using us through our programs, and sometimes miraculously through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” director Larry Cooney said.

Volunteers, including some from well-known businesses like FedEx and Starbucks, served the meals — featuring turkey, cranberries, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, dinner rolls and dessert — for what was expected to be about 1,000 people.

“Thanksgiving is really good for us because it’s right before our really busy time of year, so it’s a good time for us to give back to the community and get into the holiday spirit,” said Greg Johnson, senior manager for FedEx in Santa Maria.

“It’s also nice to work together with some of the other local businesses, churches and all the volunteers.”

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