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Thanksgiving is a community effort at area Salvation Army

Guests eat at the annual Thanksgiving meal served at the Glendale Salvation Army on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.
Guests eat at the annual Thanksgiving meal served at the Glendale Salvation Army on Wednesday.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News-Press)

Although it was cold and wet outside on Wednesday, there was nothing but warmth inside the Glendale Salvation Army as the organization held its annual Thanksgiving dinner.

Residents from across Glendale and Burbank sat around circular tables as volunteers brought out plates of full turkey dinners for them to enjoy.

That’s a service Capt. Kelly Berggren brought over with him when he and his wife, Natalia, took over the Glendale corps after it consolidated operations with its Burbank counterpart last month.

“We wanted to bring the food out to people instead of having them come and just stand and wait in line to get their food,” he said.

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While there haven’t been difficulties in merging the Burbank and Glendale organizations from an operations standpoint, Berggren said some of the people who were previously fed Thanksgiving dinners in Burbank might not be able to make it out for the Glendale service.

“And, with the weather today, I don’t think we’ll have as many people come out as we could have,” he said, referring to the rain that fell on Wednesday. “But we still hope to serve the community.”

Diana Janow and other volunteers from the California Insurance Guarantee Association prepare plates of food at the annual Thanksgiving meal served at the Glendale Salvation Army on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.
Diana Janow and other volunteers from the California Insurance Guarantee Assn. prepare plates of food at the annual Thanksgiving meal served at the Glendale Salvation Army on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019.
(Tim Berger/Glendale News-Press)

Robert Cheader was one of the people who used to go for holiday dinners in Burbank and braved the weather to make it to Glendale this year.

“I’m glad they have it here,” he said. “They also give you a little more food … It’s been very good and more people need to know about this fabulous entity.”

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A group of 40 volunteers from the California Insurance Guarantee Assn. came out to help get the corps ready for dinner, including preparing 16 turkeys donated from a local Vons and cooking various side dishes, such as mashed potatoes and stuffing.

Any food that’s left over will be used for the corps’ Sunday church potluck.

In addition to the meal, diners also leave with a toiletry kit and a bag of fresh fruit.

Berggren said he credits community support for enabling the Salvation Army to give back to those in need.

“We’re happy we’re able to do this … We get to serve, it’s a real community event,” Berggren said.

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