Free meals ensure no one goes hungry

Two free Thanksgiving dinners will be offered this week in the Five Cities area, and organizers expect hundreds to attend.

The Pismo Beach Police Officer’s Association will hold its annual event Wednesday, followed Thursday by a hot meal from the South County People’s Kitchen.

Attendance at the People’s Kitchen daily lunch in Grover Beach varies from 70 to 80 people at the beginning of each month to more than 100 toward the end of a month, said Betsy Ehrler, who heads up the organization.

She expects People’s Kitchen may get 200 people on Thanksgiving — a normal number for the holiday.

“That’s when people come back and say hi to us,” she said.

Pismo Beach police Cmdr. Jake Miller said police officer’s association members have seen attendance to their annual dinner grow from about 100 people when it started 27 years ago to about 3,000 over the past few years.

“I think what happened is word really got out,” Miller said. “Now it’s just this huge community event.”

Miller said the association members cook the food and serve it, but they rely on about 100 volunteers to help, including some who drive dinners to people unable to make it to the Veterans Hall on Bello Street.

All donations raised at the event will pay for next year’s Thanksgiving dinner, which last year cost about $5,400, Miller said.

Event organizers plan to serve about 2,400 pounds of turkey, 30 cases of stuffing, 1,000 pounds of potatoes and 10 cases of broccoli, he said. About 80 gallons of gravy will be made on site.

Free Thanksgiving meals this week


Community Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by Cambria Vineyard Church. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main Street. 927-5550.

Grover Beach

South County People’s Kitchen Thanksgiving meal. Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday. The organization offers a hot meal daily at the Shouts of Grace Church, 675 W. Grand Ave.

Morro Bay

13th Annual Morro Bay Thanksgiving Dinner. 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday. Morro Bay Community Center, 1001 Kennedy Way, Morro Bay. Hosted by the Morro Bay Peace Officers’ Association and the Rotary Club of Morro Bay. Featuring musical entertainment and local Boy Scouts as servers. Free rides to the dinner are available to those without transportation by calling 772-2744 prior to Thanksgiving Day. To have a meal delivered to your home, call ahead at 772-6284.

Paso Robles

Free Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the nonprofit organization Thanksgiving for Paso Robles. 12 to 2 p.m. Thursday. Centennial Park Activity Center, 600 Nickerson Road, Paso Robles. No reservations necessary. Anyone without transportation should call 238-2410 by noon today.

Pismo Beach

Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Pismo Beach Police Officer’s Association. 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Veterans Memorial Building, 780 Bello St. To request a meal be delivered, call 704-0017 or 704-0030 between noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday. For more information or to make a donation, call Sherry Lange at 773-7018 or Cmdr. Jake Miller at 773-7095. Do not call the police department to place orders.

San Luis Obispo

Grass Roots II Thanksgiving Dinner. Noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Traditional turkey dinner. Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo. No reservations necessary. To have a meal delivered to you, call ahead at 544-2333.