ANAHEIM (CBSLA) – Frank Garcia, a beloved Anaheim chef famous for his free Thanksgiving meals that began 37 years ago, plans to do things differently again this year.
There will not be the annual “We Give Thanks” dinner for thousands of people at the Honda Center, but Garcia promises to keep giving.READ MORE: Firefighters Rescue Infant, Two Adults From Fire At Two-Story Home
“Seventy-seven years. I was 40 when I started and now I’m 77, but I need some rest and spend more with my wife,” Garcia said. “This year, we’re going to have Thanksgiving dinner in my house for the first time in 36 years.”
Garcia also shared that COVID-19 has changed the way that big gatherings are planned.
“We Give Thanks” was able to secure turkeys. We’re storing the turkeys for them. They were able to secure pies. They’ve actually got partners at Orange Coast College that are cooking stuffing today that will be added to the box,” said Orange County Food Bank Director Mark Lowry.READ MORE: Three Shot, Two Killed In Unincorporated Area Near South Los Angeles
Garcia and Lowry partnered in order to keep all the food in a refrigerated Garden Grove warehouse. Fresh produce and other groceries from the food bank will be added to the box.
“We’re proud to be able to support the ‘We Give Thanks’ event, but that’s one of 225 partners that we have that we’re helping provide food to. So, our needs are not unlike they are any day of the year or certainly during the holiday season, except that everything’s amplified during COVID,” said Lowry.
Garcia said if he feels up to it, he’ll be at the Salvation Army to hand out the food baskets.
Thanksgiving this year for the Garcias will be celebrated only with the immediate family.MORE NEWS: Person Fatally Injured In Single-Vehicle Crash On Big Tujunga Canyon Road
“I’m very, very blessed on my dad and what he does for the community and always likes to help out other people,” said daughter Veronica Garcia. “Now it’s time for us to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.”