Merced County Times Newspaper
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Rescue Mission, volunteers share Thanksgiving with residents


The Merced County Rescue Mission staff members and nearly 200 community volunteers served traditional Thanksgiving Day meals to hundreds of local residents at the American Legion Hall during the holiday.

The charitable event last Thursday was also combined with holiday meals to veterans and families and those in need at the Respite Care Center, the Navigation Center, and the D Street Shelter.

In total, more than 400 people were fed on Thanksgiving Day, according to Bruce Metcalf, the mission director.

A number of local organizations and businesses helped to bring together the meal, including Jennifer McBride’s Nutrition Class at Merced College, the Italo-American Lodge that brought together the stuffing, the Salvation Army with donated pies and rolls for the event, and Sysco Foods with enough mashed potatoes for every plate.

Metcalf was quick to attribute the smooth operation of this year’s dinner to the team at the Rescue Mission and the Mission’s faith-based program participants who help each year.

“We’ve all done it together for so many years,” said Metcalf. “I have such a wonderful team, and it really does take the stress out of it because I know I can come here in the morning and everyone will have done their parts.”

Metcalf went on to note that the event has also brought together the community, as many who volunteered have continued to do so year after year, forming a tradition.

“It really is a community event for everyone,” said Metcalf as he pointed out business and church leaders who were working side by side with local leaders, Girl Scout troops, honors students, and farmers.

Next up for the Rescue Mission is the annual Christmas Dinner. Currently the Mission is seeking funding to help purchase hams from a local supermarket who has been gracious enough to offer a special discounted price for a large purchase. Those who would like to assist the mission financially can do so stopping by their main office at 644 West 20th Street in Merced. Residents can also contact them by phone at (209) 722-9269 or go online to, or by mail at P.O. Box 3319 Merced, CA 95344.

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