Cal athletes to help distribute holiday dinners at Bay Area Rescue Mission

Cal althletes to help distribute holiday dinners at Bay Area Rescue Mission
The 2021 Bay Area Rescue Mission turkey dinner giveaway. (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

Members of the U.C. Berkeley baseball, volleyball, and beach volleyball teams be in Richmond on Tuesday to help distribute holiday dinners to financially distressed families at the Bay Area Rescue Mission (BARM).

BARM is hosting its annual turkey dinner giveaway from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at its facility at 123 Macdonald Ave. The nonprofit, which provides food, shelter, and many more resources from its Iron Triangle headquarters, aims to serve 800 families in need a “Box of Hope” that includes a turkey, dressing and all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal. 

BARM says it has a few spots open to receive Thanksgiving food boxes. Families in need are encouraged to register to receive one by clicking here.

This year, BART teamed up with UC Berkeley Athletics to ensure a successful distribution on Tuesday. Jessie Stewart, community engagement director for the Athletic Department and former executive director Richmond Promise, said student-athletes want to use their platform to have a positive community impact.

The housing crisis and economic and racial inequality is a very visible and critical issue here in the Bay Area and many of our students are interested in getting involved to do what they can to learn about and contribute to this issue in meaningful ways,”  Stewart said.

BARM President and CEO Bram Begonia said the goal is to ensure families facing economic hardship can share a delicious meal together.

“Families in our neighborhood struggle to feed their families on a daily basis while still keeping a roof over their heads,” Begonia said. “Purchasing a complete holiday dinner is a splurge that is completely beyond their reach, especially with the skyrocketing cost of groceries.”

Residents who want to register in person at the event must show two ‘proof of residency’ forms such as a driver’s license or state ID along with a utility or phone bill, or letter from their child’s school. This is to verify the recipients have a location in which to prepare their holiday meal.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of families this giveaway aims to serve this year.