MEDIA ADVISORY: Regardless of COVID-19, Thanksgiving Blessings Abound

Central Union Mission



Contact: Deborah Chambers

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

Regardless of COVID-19,

Thanksgiving Blessings Abound


WHAT: 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. All Thanksgiving food is purchased or donated by private individual supporters, churches, corporations and other groups. The day is also packed with activities like foosball, cornhole, ping pong and board games, and then, of course, the big NFL game Washington vs. Dallas at 4:30 pm.

Outside, the Mission will be distributing food boxes and gift bags to people experiencing poverty who are on the street on Thanksgiving Day. The Feast of Sharing boxes contain a turkey sandwich, potato salad, an oatmeal cranberry cookie, an apple and a beverage. The free gift bags contain warm winter accessories and PPE. Feast of Sharing boxes and gift bags are donated by Safeway.

WHEN:  November 26, 2020

Interviews with Mission guests and employment program participants: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm or by appointment

Box lunch distribution: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, while supplies last

WHERE:   Central Union Mission men’s shelter parking lot, 65 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001

WHO:   Food boxes and gift bags will be distributed to people in need on the street outside the Mission shelter on a first-come, first-served basis. The shelter has a set bed list, which means that it is open only to registered guests, not visitors or volunteers. The Mission guests available for interview outside are living at the Mission while participating in the Transformation & Restoration Program or the Workforce Development & Education Program.

WHY:   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.”


  • Mission program participants interviews, outside from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • Joseph J. Mettimano, president & CEO, Central Union Mission
  • Community members receiving food boxes and gift bags.
  • Please see this dropbox link for b-roll footage, prior Thanksgiving photos and guest quotes

Media is invited to attend. RSVP requested. Please contact Rev. Deborah Chambers, VP, Development & Partnerships, at 202-534-9965 or for information.

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.


# # #



Your Gift of $115 helps 60 people


Let's connect. Subscribe to get our latest news.