Fred Jordan Mission, Midnight Mission serve Thanksgiving meals in downtown LA


The spirit of the holiday was alive and in action as Thanksgiving brunch was served to thousands of homeless and near-homeless men, women and children. By the end of the event, volunteers and staff at Fred Jordan Mission and Midnight Mission will have served meals to more than 8,000 people.

In the spirit of giving on this holiday, thousands of volunteers gave of their time and their hearts to help during the 69th annual Fred Jordan Mission Thanksgiving Feast.

The large production received help from many donors and volunteers who reached out and helped the homeless people of Skid Row and Los Angeles.

Fifth Street was shut down for hours Thursday to feed one of the most impoverished areas in the country. Jerritt Hatchins couldn't be more appreciative.

"It's a good thing to see all these people out here volunteering," said Hatchins.

Cooking for the event began several days ago. Giant walk-in ovens were used to roast one ton of turkey legs.

In addition to a hearty meal, guests were also given a Foot Locker gift bag filled with everything from clothes to food inside.

Three blocks away, the Midnight Mission also did its part, expecting 4,000 guests of its own. The shelter made sure to have enough turkey, gravy and dessert to go around.

"Feeding people is not charity, it's a right, and I think we all have a duty and obligation to help those with that sort of basic existential need that they have," said Rob Rice, an executive chef at Midnight Mission.

Despite a great volunteer turnout, Tom Jordan of Fred Jordan Mission says donations to the city's charities have dropped.

"Since the crash with the economy, a lot of things are picking up in America, but we've seen a 34 percent hit in donations," said Jordan.

Instead of monetary donations, people, including former "Apprentice" star Omarosa, are more apt to give of their time now.

"While we're having our meal this evening, we have to think of those who don't have a place to lay their head, who have no food to eat and we have to think about the days even after Thanksgiving," said Omarosa.

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