Homeless, but not Hungry COVID-19 Can’t Stop the Mission’s Thanksgiving

Central Union Mission



Contact: Deborah Chambers

VP, Development and Partnerships
Cell: 202-534-9965

Homeless, but not Hungry

COVID-19 Can’t Stop the Mission’s Thanksgiving


Washington, DC—November 26, 2020—The pandemic has closed nearly everything in the city, but Chef Monique Woodland, Central Union Mission executive chef, and her staff will still be preparing a traditional Thanksgiving meal at 2:00 pm for our hungry guests. The day is also packed with activities like foosball, cornhole, ping pong and board games, and then, of course, there’s the big NFL game Washington vs. Dallas at 4:30 pm. All Thanksgiving food is purchased or donated by private individual supporters, churches, corporations and other groups.


Outside on Thursday, November 26, 2020, Mission shelter staff will be in the parking lot (65 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001) from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, distributing Feast of Sharing food boxes and gift bags to people experiencing poverty. The lunch boxes contain a turkey sandwich, potato salad, an oatmeal cranberry cookie, an apple and a beverage. The free gift bags hold warm winter accessories and PPE. Safeway donated the Feast of Sharing boxes and gift bags, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

According to Mission President & CEO Joe Mettimano, “Despite the pandemic, we are making sure folks experiencing poverty are able to enjoy Thanksgiving. We are so grateful to our faithful donors who give us the ability to feed and serve our guests, and we are thankful for Safeway for donating the Feast of Sharing meals, as well. Hospitality and transformation are what we do best, and there’s a reason for that: We believe ‘hope begins with a meal.’ We are grateful for all the generous gifts that make this event possible.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shelter has a set bed list, which means it is open only to registered guests, not visitors or volunteers. However, guests living at the Mission while participating in the Transformation & Restoration Program or the Workforce Development & Education Program are available for interviews and photos outside between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm or by appointment. Also, please see this dropbox link for b-roll footage, prior Thanksgiving photos and guest quotes.

Media are invited to attend. Please contact Rev. Deborah Chambers at 202-534-9965 cell or dchambers@missiondc.org to coordinate socially distanced interviews with Mission guests and staff.

About Central Union Mission:

Central Union Mission is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the oldest private social service agency in Washington, DC. In addition to its emergency shelter, which provides more than 60,000 bed-nights each year, the Mission operates holistic, Christ-centered transformation and workforce development programs for men, provides benefits for veterans, helps people overcome addictions, operates a food and clothing distribution center which provides food for over 4,000 people each month, runs a camp for underprivileged children, and offers a ministry to families and senior citizens. Charity Navigator has rated Central Union Mission a three-star charity, GuideStar awarded Central Union Mission a Gold Seal for our financial transparency and GreatNonProfits has given Central Union Mission a Top-Rated award.


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