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Central Coast mission feeds hundreds

While it might not be Thanksgiving just yet, the spirit of giving is alive and well in Santa Maria.

The Central Coast Rescue Mission held its annual Thanksgiving banquest at the Santa Maria Fairpark on Monday.

“The only word I can think of is joy,” says Ganae Sarver, a volunteer coordinator when asked to describe how it feels to see so many helping out. “It fills me up with so much joy to see so many getting served, and so many getting to serve.”

The yearly meal is not just for the homeless, or for veterans. It is for anyone looking for a meal, someone to talk to, and simply enjoy a time of year highlighted by giving back.

Hundreds made their way through the chow line, and volunteers understand many of those they serve might not get a thanksgiving meal if it wasn’t for the mission.

“In this city, if you get the schedule, you don’t go hungry,” says Thomas Woodland, a military veteran. Back on his feet after tough times, he says this even is just one of many in Santa Barbara County that helps bring a generous community together.

“There’s a hot meal this day or that day, you can go to Catholic charities, you can get clothing vouchers. This city is very in touch.”

Dozens of volunteers from businesses across town banded together to make this meal happen.

“People want to help in anyway that they can,” says Sarver. “So being able to have an outlet for people to give service to their friends and neighbors, it just fills me up with happiness.”

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