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Thanksgiving on Wheels

Raul Jimenez Dinner Volunteers are bringing the Thanksgiving tradition to people's doors with the help of Meals on Wheels.

SAN ANTONIO — The people behind the Raul Jimenez dinner are to bringing Thanksgiving to the doorsteps of families in the Alamo City with the help of Meals on Wheels San Antonio.

“We just believe in the motto of ‘one more,’” said Raul Jimenez III, grandson of the dinner’s founder and namesake. “One more meal. One more thank you. One more just, act of generosity goes a long way.”

For 41 years, the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner has been a tradition in San Antonio.

“This is all we know on Thanksgiving; we’ve been doing this my whole entire life,” Jimenez said.

But in 2020, keeping a tradition alive is no small feat.

“No volunteers this year,” said Executive Chef Estelle Castillo. “We’ve got 10. 10 crew, and we’re hopefully going to finish all of it by Thursday.”

To keep up social distancing, the kitchen staff is limited to 10 people making thousands of meals.

“We’ve got turkey. We’ve got stuffing. We’ve got cranberry. We’ve got yams.” Castillo said.

Instead of the large group meal, this year the dinners will all be delivered. To help with that they turned to the experts.

“We’ve been helping them with the routing since it’s something that we do on a day-to-day basis.” Said Meals on Wheels Program Director Marycela Barron.

Meals on Wheels of San Antonio is helping coordinate delivery drivers for the Raul Jimenez Dinner, even as they prepare for their own Thanksgiving program.

“We believe in their mission, they believe in ours, and it’s been a great partnership” Barron said.

Jimenez said the most rewarding thing about putting on the dinner is getting to see what happens when people come together.

“When we all come together for the common good big things can happen,” he said.

The Raul Jimenez dinner comes once a year, but Meals on Wheels are always looking for new volunteers. Anyone interested can call their office at 210-735-5115 or visit MOWSATX.org.