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Volunteers help feed needy in Inland Empire

November 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A Thanksgiving tradition gave a lot of people in the Inland Empire a reason to smile Thursday. Hundreds of volunteers helped thousands enjoy the holiday.All over the Inland Empire hundreds of people put off their Thanksgiving meals to ensure others could have one.

At Central Community Christian Fellowship in Riverside, church members and volunteers pieced together all the trimmings.

For the past 23 years Pastor Eric Denton and his family have organized the Thanksgiving event.

"There are so many seniors citizens without someone to bring them a meal and they are all alone," said Denton. "So we deliver all the Meals On Wheels here in Riverside."

The meals are not made in a single kitchen either. The more than 400 turkeys were prepared in the kitchens of the church members.

"This comes from hundreds of homes. We are feeding thousands of people from hundreds of homes," said Denton.

And with each meal comes a personal handwritten note.

The church has prepared 4,000 meals, but not all of them will be served here. A majority of them will be delivered by volunteers.

For the past seven years, Bob Saenz has packed up his vehicle with dozens of the dinners and delivered them to homes all across Riverside and San Bernardino counties, driving hundreds of miles to make sure someone in need gets a meal.

"Our church policy is even if it is only one, they get two dinners," said Saenz. "We never leave one dinner."

While in Norco, free turkey dinners were available to anyone who stopped in at the Silverado Restaurant.

"This is the biggest community event. It takes numerous volunteers to help make this happen," said organizer Brent Sakamoto.

Claudia Kewer drove in from Corona with a friend to share in the feast and give thanks.

"I am thankful for the people that have given today of themselves, and the work that has gone into this," said Kewer.

This Thanksgiving the efforts of a few are again helping to feed the thousands of others in need of a meal and the company.


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