Traditional sit-down meal returns this year complete with fine china, table cloths, and plenty of good company
PASO ROBLES — For 36 years, Thanksgiving for Paso Robles has provided homemade meals for over 1,200 people per year.
In 2020, Thanksgiving for Paso Robles kept its promise to provide Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. However, due to COVID restrictions, volunteers created take-out meals and delivered them to the community rather than their traditional sit-down dinner.
Given challenging circumstances from the past two years, Chairman David Kudija says they are preparing to make 1,500 meals—300 more than usual.
David began volunteering about 27 years ago. He laughs, saying, “I got involved because I wanted to become great at carving turkeys, and for about six years, I was the turkey carver. I would carve 20 to 28 turkeys a year—I’m a darn good turkey carver.”
Now, David serves as the Thanksgiving for Paso Robles chairman and doubles as a captain for the Pioneer Day Bean Feed.
Thanksgiving for Paso Robles is 100 percent funded by donations and run by volunteers. It takes approximately $9,000 and 200 volunteers to put on the annual dinner.
Volunteers begin prepping and cooking the meals on Monday and are ready to serve almost 2,000 people by Thursday. This year there will be 70 turkeys and hams cooked for the community.
Volunteers are needed this year more than ever. Kudija says they are always in need of volunteers to help clean up dinner.
Kudija explains the operation as a one-day restaurant. Everything is set up, served, and then taken down all in one day. It is a lot of work, but when speaking to Kudija, it sounds pretty worth it.
The traditional sit-down meal is complete with fine china, table cloths, and plenty of good company.
“It’s fulfilling work—I’ve met a lot of great people doing this. We try to keep it fun,” David shared.
This years dinner menu includes:
- Oven Roasted Turkey
- Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Dressing
- Green Beans
- Candied Yams
- Cranberry Sauce
- Housebaked Pies
Guests have an option to enjoy a sit-down meal, or if coming down to the park is not an option, volunteers are more than happy to deliver a meal to them.
Thanksgiving for Paso Robles is a “celebration of thanks serving over 1,500 men, women, and children from all communities, a traditional Thanksgiving meal at no cost. A true expression of community that brings diverse people together to share the day with others.
Serving dinner from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., all are welcome to enjoy a hand-cooked sit-down Thanksgiving meal at no cost.
For those who are homebound, they have volunteers to deliver a warm Thanksgiving meal. Call the committee at (805)239-4137 by November 19 to schedule a delivery.
For more information on Thanksgiving for Paso Robles or to sign up to volunteer or donate visit thanksgivingforpasorobles.com