TACOMA, Wash. — While Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for family, a home, and a warm meal, more people in western Washington are facing homelessness due to the pandemic.
On Thursday, the Tacoma Resume Mission will feed about 1,000 of those people, including about 200 who live in the shelter. The other 800 are from the community.
"I've been on the other side of that line, and every little bit helps," said Nakiya Brown.
Brown is part of the mission's New Life Program designed to help those suffering from substance abusive get back on their feet.
While Brown has to be in the kitchen preparing meals as a member of the program, he says they couldn't get all the meals made and served without the help of volunteers and food donations.
"We take those food donations that we get around Thanksgiving and we can store them. That will help feed the community well into 2022. We really rely on those donations," said The Executive Director of Tacoma Rescue Mission Duke Paulson.
Last week the mission had a couple of turkeys in the backroom freezer, but after making a call to the community highlighting the need, there were 1,100 turkeys ready to be cooked on Thanksgiving morning.
"That's the power of community," said Paulson.
Operations inside the mission still look a little different. More people needing shelter during the pandemic forced the cafeteria to become bed space. The cafeteria moved to an outdoor heated tent and meals are made and then put into individual containers.
Still, on Thanksgiving day Paulson says those facing hunger in Pierce County will feel a little more blessed.
The mission will be taking donations through Thanksgiving Day and can be dropped off at the loading dock to the side of the main building.
For more information, visit the Tacoma Rescue Mission's website.