The Los Angeles LGBT Center Culinary Arts program served nearly 900 people Thanksgiving meals making it the largest undertaking so far.
The meals were prepared days prior to Thanksgiving in the commercial teaching kitchen that is part of the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus.
Hundreds were packaged by an assembly line of volunteers inside the Campus’s Pride Hall early Tuesday morning and then delivered by another fleet of volunteers to senior clients throughout the city.
“We made double what we did last year,” said Culinary Arts Executive Chef Instructor Leslie Riley. “We were looking to make the meal traditional but to give it a little extra flavor, and that’s why we have the ginger-orange-cranberry sauce and the thyme-and-maple-glazed carrots. We wanted to make it special.”
The massive meal program, sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal and First Republic Bank, was available to any registered participant of the Center’s Senior Services.
Launched in 2019, the intergenerational Culinary Arts program is comprised of the Center’s youth members and seniors. In addition to the special Thanksgiving meals, the normal 426 meals prepared daily for youth members and senior clients also were made and distributed on Tuesday.
Delivery volunteers drove their cars to the Campus underground garage and patiently lined up as staff members loaded their cars with the packaged meals and provided them with their delivery routes.
Thanksgiving meals also were delivered to seniors living in the Center’s Triangle Square and at the newly-opened Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing. The Center’s Senior Services staff members personally delivered those meals to the doorsteps of those residents who had signed up for them.
For those seniors who opted to personally pick up their meals at the Campus, the Senior Services department decided to make it a full experience by holding a harvest festival in the Bayard Rustin Courtyard.