Rachael Fowler
Communications Manager
(619) 446-0294

No one should be lonely or hungry on Thanksgiving

No one should be lonely or hungry on Thanksgiving
That's why The Salvation Army serves Thanksgiving Dinner

SAN DIEGO, CA (Nov. 2016) When the doors open at 11:30 am on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, some 1,800 guests who have been patiently waiting outside the City Concourse will be escorted to linen draped tables by 350 volunteers.  The guests include seniors with no other place to go, struggling working families, single parents, the homeless and often those who are simply alone on a day of fellowship.

“We welcome everyone and it is our great pleasure to provide them with a warm Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and even pumpkin pie,” says Major George Baker, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army.

It all started 33 years ago, when The Salvation Army received a call from Joan Kroc who wanted to provide a large community dinner so no one would be alone on Thanksgiving.  She gave the Army a $12,000 check, Golden Hall was rented and what has become one of the largest congregate meals in San Diego on Thanksgiving Day began.  After that first Thanksgiving, Mrs. Kroc offered to fund a Christmas meal, which the Army has done for 33 years.  Many times over the years, Joan Kroc herself served at the dinner. The well-known philanthropist has only one stipulation: she wanted to remain anonymous until her passing. 

This year, The Army is preparing to serve 1,800 guests a traditional turkey dinner:

          355 pounds of turkey                               150 dozen dinner rolls
          340 pounds of dressing                           20 pounds of butter
          570 pounds of green beans                    180 pumpkin pies
          360 pounds of mashed potatoes            120 gallons of coffee
          45 gallons of gravy                                   1,800 half-pints of milk
          80 gallons of lemonade


Guests begin arriving as early as 9 a.m. and as they wait on the concourse, they will be entertained by The Salvation Army brass band and greeted by Salvation Army officers, soldiers, volunteers and even Chopper the Biker Dog.  Once everyone is seated, the serving begins, usually about noon. The event ends around 1:00 p.m.



About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Moe than 27 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide.