Thanksgiving Traditions Bountiful in South Pas

Mayor Pro Tem Bob Joe (right) and County Supervisor Kathryn Barger (standing, in apron) serve Thanksgiving lunch to seniors at the War Memorial on Wednesday. Photos by Henk Friezer

The Thanksgiving spirit was evident all over South Pasadena this week, and not just on Thanksgiving Day itself.

Monday, Holy Family Church’s “Giving Bank” made sure it was a bountiful holiday for some 300 local families, as it dispensed some 300 turkeys, along with special bags of holiday staples such as potatoes, corn, stuffing, cranberries and even a few pies for early arrivals — in addition to the usual bags of groceries given out at the Giving Bank’s regular Monday food pantry.

Then on Wednesday, the annual Senior Center-sponsored Thanksgiving lunch was served at the War Memorial — with, per tradition, local officials volunteering as servers. This year, Mayor Pro Tem Bob Joe, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, state Sen. Anthony Portantino and City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, among others, took part.

At Monday’s Giving Bank, new Police Chief Joe Ortiz and some of his officers helped out this year, along with the usual volunteers from the fire department.

The Giving Bank has been holding this Thanksgiving tradition since the late 1970s, said Marlene Moore, director of community services for Holy Family and the Giving Bank.

The turkeys and other groceries were donated by Holy Family parishioners, as well as from a local Boy Scout food drive. In addition, the pies came from Carrows restaurant, which had been running a “Pies with a Purpose” drive for several weeks.

“We’re so grateful to the community, because the community did provide all the Thanksgiving food we gave away,’’ Moore said. “I want to thank the many volunteers as well.’’

Police Chief Joe Ortiz helps out at Holy Family Church’s Giving Bank on Monday during the annual Thanksgiving turkey give-away.