Tribal leaders from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians say it is their way of continuing a tradition that started 380 years ago on the coast of Massachusetts.
This week, in the largest turkey donation in its history, the Morongo tribe is providing more than 2,200 turkeys to help provide more than 10,000 Thanksgiving meals for Riverside County families in need.
The tribe began the tradition in 1985, distributing meals and turkeys as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Thermal, California.
According to Morongo tribal council member Anne Hutton, as a part of the tribes Thanksgiving outreach, it will both deliver turkeys and set up a special turkey pick-up center for designated charities on the Morongo Indian reservation. Deliveries to charities throughout the desert area, Riverside and San Bernardino started last week and continues today. On-site pick-ups for selected charities are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. this morning at the old bingo hall located on Fields Road on the reservation.
Last week the Morongo tribe delivered more than 140 boxes of Thankgiving dinner ingredients to the families of the Torres Martinez tribe. Torres-Martinez tribal chairwoman Mary Belardo was on hand to greet Morongos volunteers and accept the gift.
The Morongo tribe is now the largest private sector employer in the Banning-Beaumont region and a major contributor to the Coachella Valley economy.
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