Alpine Community Center delivers Thanksgiving meals in challenging times

Thanksgiving meals for families needing them will be provided this year.

The Alpine Community Cen­ter will once again be delivering Thanksgiving dinners to seniors and families in need this year.

Director of Operations Shane Greer said volunteers have been delivering the dinners for several years but “with the pandemic this year, we weren’t sure if we’d be able to pull it off”.

The community center, which relies on membership and large-scale events for sustenance has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic for all but the food pantry and senior lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“Each Thanksgiving, we serve about 50 households and many are single, homebound seniors with no family; some are bigger families with up to six people. We’re getting phone calls asking about Thanks­giving because we’re the solution they’ve relied on for the past few years,” Greer said.

Over the past decade the deliv­ered dinner has been through a few iterations: community center vol­unteers used to team up with Al­pine Kiwanis members and deliver meals directly to homes, said Greer but switched to a partnership with Albertson’s grocery store a few years back.

Unfortunately, the store has changed their approach to philan­thropy and community center vol­unteers had to pivot this year and once again find a way to deliver din­ners directly from the facility.

“Everyone has stepped up and somehow we’re going to make this dinner happen for everyone who needs it, especially our homebound seniors. We’re getting turkeys do­nated from one of our members,” Greer said.

He also reached out to Barons Market and “they’re helping to provide dessert, stuffing rolls, cran­berry sauce” that can all be por­tioned out at the community center kitchen. “We are an industrial, health-permitted kitchen, we can run like a restaurant and we have the facilities to do it— we are used to catering large events and we have two licensed mem­bers to work in the kitchen so we’ll be cooking everything on site and providing delivery,” Greer said.

The Knights of Columbus, a charitable organization affili­ated with the Catholic church reached out this year, he said and are providing funding to purchase to-go containers.

“In past years, we’ve had par­ents and children volunteer to deliver meals and unfortunate­ly we’ve had to minimize that group of volunteers this year with a strict vetting process to keep it safe. Sadly, that is one part that I wish could be differ­ent because we— my wife and kids and I— have delivered for years and one of the brightest moments for some of the home bound seniors is having that interaction with kids bring­ing the Thanksgiving dinner,” Greer said.

For this year, Alpine Library Friends Association donated a coupon for a free book from their shop so “there is still some love coming from the commu­nity” this year, Greer said, that will get tucked into every deliv­ery bag thanks to library volun­teer Bonnie Burchill.

Greer said anyone wanting to make a financial donation to the community center can do so on the website at www.alpin­ or by calling the center at (619) 445- 7330.

“If anyone is in need, or knows anyone in need, please call and let us know. We don’t want any­one going hungry,” Greer said.


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