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Glide Memorial Church Serves Free Thanksgiving Dinnner to 5,000 in S.F.

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Glide Memorial United Methodist Church served 300 turkeys and 200 hams with all the trimmings to about 5,000 people at its annual free Thanksgiving dinner in San Francisco Thursday, a spokeswoman said.

The roast turkey and ham came with sweet potatoes, stuffing, salad, mixed vegetables, a dinner roll and pumpkin pie, said Jean Cooper, holiday coordinator for the Glide Foundation.

A San Francisco Girl Scout troop spent Monday and Tuesday making 2,400 individual-size pumpkin pies for the event, held annually at the Tenderloin neighborhood church, Cooper said.

"We've been doing this for 40 years," Cooper said. "We have five scheduled shifts with 100 volunteers each, and many people just show up and we put them to work."

The church is part of what Cooper described as "an ecosystem of organizations" that works to feed people in San Francisco.

About half the people who show up are homeless and the other half cannot afford to spring for a Thanksgiving dinner after paying the rent and meeting other expenses, Cooper said.

"Twenty-three percent of San Franciscans are food insecure," she said.

The legendary Rev. Cecil Williams, who has been associated with the church for more than 50 years, was on hand Thursday, Cooper said.

The church has a new lead pastor, Jay Williams, and a new president and CEO, Karen Hanrahan, Cooper said.

© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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