Donations are down this year and many of the freezers at the mission have empty shelves. The problem isn't unique to the Union Rescue Mission - the Salvation Army of South L.A. said they had only one turkey to meet the demand of 500 families and the L.A. Food Bank was actually putting chickens in food boxes instead of turkeys.
But then Bales made an appearance on ABC7's "Newsmakers" show. He mentioned that the Union Rescue Mission was down to just a handful of turkeys and a mysterious donor came through.
"Farmer John about three days ago brought us 25,000 pounds of ham. Two hundred turkeys just came in today," said Bales.
Bales said it's a donation that will keep the kitchen cooking for the next several weeks, but it's far from a permanent solution.
"Last year we served 1.3 million meals and this year we are on our way to serving somewhere between 1.4 and 1.5 million," he said.