The Salvation Army spreads cheers by serving meals to homeless residents

SAN DIEGO – Dozens of Salvation Army volunteers gathered on Thanksgiving Day to spread some Christmas cheer by serving meals to uninhabited San Diego residents.

“I actually really appreciate it,” said Brittany Nocita, a homeless mother of two. “It’s been tough the last few months. We’ve all struggled. Normally we’re with our parents, but not this year.”

But like last year, the Salvation Army’s Thanksgiving meal for the homeless looked a little different than before because of the pandemic. That means the charity has had to adapt while still reaching out to some of society’s most vulnerable citizens, said Lieutenant Colonel Lee Lescano of the Salvation Army.

It includes moving its dinner tables outdoors and providing an extra level of sanitation.

“The Salvation Army has been serving Thanksgiving dinner for 38 years,” Lescano said. “But like last year, we’ve had to adapt. This year we’re making an outdoor giveaway meal, but it’s also a chance here at the center that people can also sit down and have a meal.”

Volunteers like San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit say they are not letting the pandemic stop them from making the Thanksgiving dinner special to those in need.

“We have dealt with the pandemic,” Nisleit said. “We have dealt with a lot, but there is still a lot to be thankful for and it is an opportunity to give back to the less fortunate.”

About 50 volunteers were ready to serve a total of 1,800 meals at three locations in San Diego County. The Salvation Army told FOX 5 that they could not do it without volunteers or donor support.

For Nocita and her children, it is truly a blessing.

“To be thankful for everything they have been given and we have just started praying because we have had people pray for us,” Nocita says. “It has actually helped us a lot.”


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