South Lake Tahoe volunteers give back during Thanksgiving dinners
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The kitchen at St. Theresa Catholic Church’s Grace Hall was a hub of activity on Sunday, Nov. 22, as nearly a dozen volunteers prepared food for a pair of annual Thanksgiving dinners.
Some people were long-standing volunteers for the Saint Theresa Bread and Broth program, while others only returned to help for the annual dinner. All of them shared one theme: a desire to help provide a Thanksgiving meal for South Lake Tahoe residents.
“Some of the people set aside this one day out of the year so they can help,” said Diane Weidinger, Bread and Broth’s director.
Volunteers cut up loaves of bread for dressing, sautéed vegetables, and prepped $1,000 worth of turkeys for the meal.
Bread and Broth started its meal program in 1989. In addition to the regular Monday and Friday meals, the nonprofit also hosts its large Thanksgiving holiday meal.
“This might be some people’s only chance to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, which is free to all community members,” Weidinger said.
The Monday meal was prepared with some 300 people in mind from 4-6 p.m. at St. Theresa’s Grace Hall, 1041 Lyons Ave.
A second, smaller Thanksgiving dinner for up to 75 people will be served on Friday, Nov. 27, from 4-5 p.m. at the Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church, 2733 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe resident Evye Szanto spent five years as a volunteer cook for Bread and Broth. She said the Thanksgiving meal reflects Bread and Broth’s mission to provide meals for those who need them.
“Bread and Broth is all about helping each other and about Thanksgiving on a year-round basis,” Szanto said. “The Thanksgiving dinners are the culmination of what the program does on a yearly basis.”
Bob Norman, a Bay Area resident, normally volunteers regularly at St. Anthony’s Church in Menlo Park.
“Because I was coming up to South Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t volunteer there,” Norman said. “I thought Bread and Broth might need some help here, so I hooked up with them.”
Norman added that his wife and children pitched in to help for the Monday meal.
According to Weidinger, people donated more than just their time for the Thanksgiving holiday. She said one donor contributed $500 to help pay for the turkeys, while some area restaurants donated or made ingredients.
Stephen Moise, executive chef for The Ridge Tahoe in Stateline, provided the ingredients for the gravy.
“We make our own gravy up at The Ridge and it’s always great to do something with the extra ingredients,” Moise said.
He added that it makes sense to provide supplies for the Bread and Broth Thanksgiving meal.
“A lot of us are fortunate to be in the position we are, so it’s really important to give back to the community, especially at this time of year,” Moise said.
FOOD BANK OF EL DORADO COUNTY
In addition to Bread and Broth’s dinners, the Food Bank of El Dorado County’s mobile food pantry will be present at the American Legion, 2748 Lake Tahoe Blvd., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 10-11 a.m.
Residents who need food, especially for Thanksgiving, may receive supplemental groceries and fresh produce. The Food Bank will provide one allocation per household. People must reside in El Dorado County and meet specific income requirements in order to qualify.