Aug 09, 2020
Families and Fresno police staff interact during a Thanksgiving food delivery on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. (Paige Gibbs/The Collegian)

Fresno police, volunteers give families a full Thanksgiving meal

The Fresno Police Department’s Northwest Policing District and volunteers teamed up on Monday to prepare 30 Thanksgiving meal boxes to deliver to families in need. It’s the second year in a row the department does this.

The volunteer crime prevention group Citizens on Patrol (COP) from three different Fresno policing districts joined this year. Volunteers from Foods Co. local grocery store helped as well.

The Thanksgiving meal delivery was the idea of COP Capt. Mary Torres, and Crime Prevention Officer Maeketah Rivera. Together they are always thinking of ways to give back to the community.

During the second delivery of the day, an apartment manager was visibly worried and asked police Lt. Joe Gomez what was the matter. He had noticed four police cars, two vans and two media crew vehicles parked near the main entrance.

Gomez chuckled and explained the caravan was simply delivering food, much to the manager’s relief.

Families in need are chosen by police recommendations based on service calls, such as a domestic violence call, or through school resource officers, Rivera said.

Last year the district delivered 13 meals and spent the entire day going from house to house. This year, the food deliveries were more than doubled.

“We’re really excited about that,” Rivera said. “There’s so much need in the community. We’re just excited to be able to give back.”

COP and Serenity Funeral Services donated funds while Foods Co. donated food.

The food boxes included a turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, canned vegetables, rolls, stuffing, a box macaroni and cheese, cornbread, cranberry sauce, candy canes and a pumpkin pie.

Andrea Hill is the daughter of Torres and volunteered again this year along with her twin 8-year-old daughters.

“I think it’s good for them to come and see what’s out there,” Hill said. “It’s nice that they get to help out. My girls really like to come.”

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