How a Sacramento funeral home brought people together for Thanksgiving
The pandemic created a slew of financial hardships, making it harder for people to put food on the table this holiday season. Some community organizers in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood rose to meet that challenge to give their neighborhood a happy Thanksgiving.
"I wanted to make sure families were able to come out and experience a loving connection," said Ginger Brown, owner of Thompson Rose Chapel. "We can take a little from ourselves and give to others. "
This is the third year the Thompson Rose Chapel has prepared Thanksgiving meals for the neighborhood.
"Because food prices are high, because everything is shaky right now in the economy, itís the perfect time to do something that helps the community," said Harrison Anderson, marketing director for the chapel. "We have all these things going on in the world today, itís important people know they are loved."
Despite this year's higher price tag, organizers prepared enough food for at least 100 free meals Ė the same amount served before the pandemic.
While the Chapel operates as a funeral home, Brown says she's also open as a community resource.
"It has been a little difficult for all of us because, during this duration, families have been experiencing loss, where people have died alone," said Brown. "We need to come together and be there for each other, especially at this time."
People from all walks of life came to pick up a hot meal.
"Oh, I love it. Itís a positive," said long-time resident Patrick Moore, who otherwise would have spent Thanksgiving alone because his sister is caring for their sick mother in Southern California.
"It's very good they're doing this," said a young man who wished only to be identified as Bradley. "Especially for the amount of people who are out here on the streets who donít get to eat every day. We appreciate it."
Volunteer Patricia Jones packed up boxes of food for delivery for a community of people experiencing homelessness nearby. She said the funeral home had been helping to feed the group over the last three years.
"I enjoy it," Jones said. "Some of them are not there by choice, you know."
KCRA 3 spoke with the pick-up drivers.
"It means a lot to the community," said Theresa Epps. "They donít have to struggle to get a meal today."