A couple of area charitable efforts Tuesday made sure a few hundred locals will have full bellies this Thanksgiving.
Many area churches donated to Catholic Charities, which handed out around 220 boxes containing a turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and dry and canned goods.
Catholic Charities also recently donated about 150 birds to hungry families in Los Banos.
Area real estate developer Greg Hostetler donated 300 turkeys and 300 bags of almonds to needy residents in south Merced’s McNamara Park.
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Hundreds of people in the park waited as a diesel truck pulled the donations into view.
Dale Hubbs, 39, smiled while standing in McNamara Park as his family piled into a minivan with a big frozen bird and a bag of almonds.
Hubbs said he’s unemployed and he would have had a hard time putting together a holiday meal without some help. He said he was grateful to have the food for his wife and six children.
“It means a lot,” the Atwater resident said. “It means me and my wife and my kids will be able to eat.”
If you missed out on the food for a holiday meal, the Merced Rescue Mission offers a free community meal on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Rescue Mission feeds about 2,000 people every year.