Homeless shelter staff are in overdrive serving Thanksgiving without volunteers

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Men from the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission’s drug and alcohol treatment program debone turkeys for the annual Thanksgiving dinner for people experiencing homelessness. Photo by Kathryn Barnes.

Cooking and serving Thanksgiving meals to unhoused residents takes a lot of organization and help from volunteers. But during the pandemic, most homeless shelters aren’t allowing volunteers on-site. That doesn’t mean Thanksgiving is canceled. Staff members and the volunteers who typically help are getting creative.