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Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond gets surge of late donations

As of Nov. 11, the Bay Area Rescue Mission’s long tradition of Thanksgiving feasts for all was in jeopardy.

They didn’t have enough food. Donations were scant.

“It was pretty critical,” said Executive Director John Anderson.

At the time, they had just 33 turkeys.

Eight days later, they have 1,500, and they are set to dish up 24,000 meals this week.

“It was overwhelming,” Anderson said. “We tried to get the word out through media sources, donors and friends, and word got around and people reacted  in typical Bay Area, compassionate fashion.”

The major donors included AAA and Bay Alarm, which dropped off 320 turkey’s Monday morning. Dozens of individuals, churches and businesses also donated, bringing the total haul of food to an amount representing a 15 percent increase over last year, Anderson said.

The turkeys are 25-35 pounds each.

Hundreds of volunteers are also involved in preparations.

There will be turkey dinners open to all at the Mission every night through Thursday, and an 11:30 a.m. meal event on Thursday.