Under a misty Santa Monica sky, hundreds of Angelenos gathered to spend their Thanksgiving mornings cooking, packaging and delivering food to hungry people on the streets of the city.
For 18 years, the non-profit Gobble Gobble Give has been providing warm Thanksgiving meals to adults and children around L.A. county, and as of recent years, their extent has reached New York, Texas, Tennessee and more. With three bustling locations in Los Angeles alone, the humble beginnings of this organization have expanded greater than founder Barry Walker ever imagined.
“There’s a lot of people who feed people on Thanksgiving, and that’s great. We do things a little differently. Everybody brings something and then we put it into to-go meals…the difference is that we take it out onto the street,” said Walker, who serves as the Executive Director Gobble Gobble Give, alongside his wife, Shauna, the vice-president.
By hand-delivering fresh meals, canned goods, and often over-looked (but direly needed) clothing and toiletries, the charity is able to have an impact on the people in need long after the Thanksgiving holiday.
“I was here last year and I’m here again because they really helped me out here,” said one homeless man, who preferred not to be named. After enjoying his warm brunch amongst the generous army of volunteers, he left with a hefty bag of preservable food and clothing, socks, and hygiene products in tow. The genuinely appreciative smile on his face as he turned back to thank the volunteers is what Walker supposes keeps Gobble Gobble Give’s engine running.