Thanksgiving Dinner for the Least Among Us

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Nov. 19, 2014 (San Diego) More than 300 people came to the Cesar Chavez Park by the Coronado Bridge. They started to stand in line before one, and by the time distribution started, the line was very long.

Assembly Woman Lorena Gonzales (D-78) organized this food distribution with partners such as Feeding America. This is part of operation Goble, which is a way to support the least among us.

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Those who came for a turkey, (500 were given away) and the trimmings, were among the neediest in San Diego, who will have a happy thanksgiving. Reporting San Diego talked with Janice Smith and Christine Edwards, before the distribution started. She heard of this neighbors who, like herself, live across the street from Sherman Elementary School. There was a free diaper distribution. This helped a lot of families.

The turkey will feed her, and “a few families in the area. We are inviting them to eat with us.” This is the first year she does this, but she also said that things are getting harder.

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According to Smith this is the first time she also needs this. We asked bout the economy and she said that it is not getting better. This was a common view from many of the people in the line.

When we talked with Gonzalez she went into it in depth. While the economic indicators are getting better, the minimum wage has not kept up. “The economy is getting better for people who have money, but it is not getting better for working class.”

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This is why the fight to raise the minimum wage and give them sick days needs to happen. Those policies need to change. But “in the meantime we need to help them out. You cannot feed a family if you are making minimum wage no matter how hard you are working.”

While this relieves some of the pressures of the holidays, “we need to pass policies that help the working poor.”

This distribution is being done in National City, Chula Vista, Barrio Logan (where we met with Gonzalez, in City Heights and San Ysidro.

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Among the partners that were present was San Diego Gas and Electric. They introduced people to programs they have for people who are on low income. Those who qualify for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, could qualify for a 20 percent discount in their monthly bill. Those who have medical equipment, such as oxygen, can also qualify for a discount.

The 211 program was there as well. People can get a referral to different programs and will get help in enrolling over the phone in Covered California. Call them, use 211, and you can get the help you need.

Some of the services they can help you with include Cal Frssh (previously known as food stamps) and Women, infants and Children program (WIC). They are a resource that most do not realize even exists.

Twitter: @nadinbrzezinski

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Categories: Gonzalez, policy, poverty, Thanksgiving

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