The process of preparing for the Pismo Beach Police Officers Association’s annual Thanksgiving dinner is much more time-consuming, and costly, than when the organization first started hosting the event 28 years ago.
Years ago, the dinner was small enough that association members had little trouble collecting enough donated food to feed all who attended. But that’s not the situation anymore.
“Once we got to the point where we needed 2,400 pounds of turkey, we had to do it in advance,” said police Cmdr. Jake Miller.
This year, the association has ordered about 2,700 pounds of turkey, anticipating that additional people affected by the recession could show up for the dinner today at the Veterans Hall in Pismo Beach.
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They’ve also bought 10 extra cases of stuffing, an additional 500 servings of mashed potatoes, 3,000 rolls and extra broccoli.
In past years, volunteers have served 3,000 meals, including those delivered to people at their homes. Any leftovers are given to South County People’s Kitchen, which serves free hot noon meals in Grover Beach.
Much of the turkey was cooked Tuesday in large ovens at Marie Callender’s in Pismo Beach. About 40 percent of the turkeys are cooked elsewhere; this year, the local Moose Lodge and Brad’s Restaurant are helping out.
The cost has jumped to about $6,500 to put on the dinner. This year’s event is paid for, Miller said, but donations received will go toward the 29th annual dinner.
“I’m already worrying about next year,” he said.
The dinner runs from 1 to 7 p.m. today at the Veterans Hall, 780 Bello St.
SLO county thanksgiving meals
Thanksgiving dinners are being served to the public in San Luis Obispo County at the following locations:
Cambria: Community dinner. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main Street. 927-6220.
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. Free rides to the dinner are available to those without transportation by calling 772-2744 between 8 and 10 a.m.
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. To have meal delivered, call 238-2312.
Pismo Beach: Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Pismo Beach Police Officers Association. 1 to 7 p.m. today. Veterans Memorial Building, 780 Bello St. For more information or to make a donation, call Sherry Lange at 773-7018.
San Luis Obispo: Grass Roots II Thanksgiving Dinner. Noon to 5 p.m. today. Traditional turkey dinner. Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grande Ave., San Luis Obispo. No reservations necessary. To have a meal delivered to you, call ahead at 544-2333.
Prado Day Center will be serving lunch as usual. 12 p.m. Thursday. 43 Prado Road, San Luis Obispo.
— Tribune staff report
Thanksgiving holiday closures
The following services and agencies will be affected this week because of Thanksgiving and extended observances:
All K-12 schools are off Thursday and Friday. Some are off today as well.
All state, county, city and community services district offices will be closed Thursday and Friday. Federal offices are closed Thursday.
Post offices are closed Thursday, with no delivery. Several offices will offer limited hours Friday; check with your local office.
Cuesta College is closed Thursday through Saturday.
Cal Poly is closed today through Sunday. The Kennedy Library is closed Thursday through Saturday.
Bank closures will vary. Stock markets are closed Thursday.
Libraries will be closed Thursday and Friday. The Paso Robles City Library is also closed Thursday and Friday.
Trash pickup is not affected in San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Los Osos, Cayucos or Cambria. Pickup in other cities may be delayed. Contact your garbage service provider for details.
The Tribune office is closed Thursday and Friday, but home delivery is not affected.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.