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Inland Empire'€™s Needy Families Come Together To Give Thanks

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This holiday season the San Bernardino and Riverside Salvation Army Corps both plan Thanksgiving dinners to help the needy families of the Inland Empire.

The San Bernardino Corps will serve dinner from 11 am to 2 pm on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26, at its Corps headquarters building, 746 W. Fifth St.

“We’re serving a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, vegetables and pie,” said Capt. Nancy Ball, co-director of the San Bernardino Corps.

San Bernardino County Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales has donated 10 of the turkeys, although it could use more, as the crowd can typically go through 20 turkeys and 20 sliced hams. The Inland Empire Job Corps is donating 300 pies created by its culinary students – 100 pumpkin, 100 apple and 100 cherry.

The Riverside Thanksgiving dinner takes place Wednesday, Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Most of the food for this event will come through donations the Riverside Corps acquires via KOLA radio station’s “Fill the Van” event, which took place Friday, Nov. 20.

The annual Thanksgiving meals bring in hundreds of families and individuals who do not have the means to provide themselves a Thanksgiving dinner.

People come from all parts of the Inland Empire for the celebrations.

The San Bernardino event alone has served close to 900 people in one year.

At both Corps, the hungry families are joined by hundreds of volunteers for the day who help prepare the food and serve meals to the families. An estimated 125 volunteers helped the San Bernardino Corps in 2008.

“Thanksgiving should be a special day for everyone not just for those who can afford it,” says Capt. Ball.

To receive information about the dates and times for the dinners at other corps besides San Bernardino and Riverside, or to volunteer, give them a call at 1800-SAL-ARMY or 1-800-725-2769.

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