Jaycees and Friends in Deed team to feed low-income families
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Op Gobbler, the annual Thanksgiving event hosted by Friends in Deed and the Pasadena Jaycees, will continue feeding hundreds of low-income families this Thanksgiving.

This year’s event marks 36 years of partnership between the Pasadena Jaycees and Friends in Deed.

“The Jaycees are a great organization who do a lot in the community,” said Tim Nistler, food pantry program director at Friends in Deed.

“And Op Gobbler is a fun time for us to partner and provide turkeys to our community. This is my eighth year working with the Jaycees on the event and I look forward to it every time. This year will, obviously, be a little different. But the spirit and purpose are still there.”

Because of COVID-19, the two organizations will eschew a large dinner and replace it with turkey, dessert and social distancing.

On November 22, about 275 Friends in Deed families who have signed up in advance will come by FID’s north Pasadena facility to pick up their turkey and dessert.

The majority of the turkeys are provided by the Jaycees, but more are coming from Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Sen. Anthony Portantino and other community members.

“Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, appreciation and connection with family and friends,” said Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater, executive director of Friends in Deed.

“While 2020 will limit our physical connection, we are grateful for the opportunity to provide our most vulnerable families with a turkey to celebrate this special day. We don’t take for granted how this small gesture is a huge lift of the spirit for so many. We are glad to partner with the community to make this happen.”

A 126-year-old social services agency in Pasadena, Friends in Deed focuses on alleviating the effects of poverty for the community’s most vulnerable citizens. 

For more information, contact Friends in Deed, 626-797-2402, info@friendsindeedpas.org.