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Father Joe's Villages serves up Thanksgiving dinner

The homeless center downtown continued its tradition of serving, San Diego residents experiencing homelessness, turkey and mashed potatoes.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Unlike other American holidays, food is the highlight of Thanksgiving Day and in the kitchens at Father Joe’s Villages, they’re up for the challenge of making delicious food for this holiday.

"We have pounds and pounds of turkey and pounds of pounds of mashed potatoes," says Deacon Jim Vargas is the CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. "It's wonderful to bring people together,"

He says that in addition to the hot meal, those living in poverty on San Diego’s streets will receive a gift bag with socks, hygiene products and other essentials.

While a hot meal and fresh socks is nice, it’s temporary. Vargas says days like these highlight just how big of a problem homelessness is on San Diego streets.

"It's not just a meal. The meal is important because we know individuals are nutrition deprived,” said Vargas. “One in three San Diegans are nutrition deprived and two and five children on nutrition deprived. Most of these individuals go back onto the streets, unfortunately. And that's a sad commentary…just shows that we need more resources here as a community."

No matter what circumstances you might be in, juicy turkey and hot mashed potatoes are always things to be thankful for. And, a full stomach and a clear head are some of the first step to improving your situation.

"I'm thankful for everything, for the beautiful day," said Elisa, while she was picking up food. "I'm thankful for the Lord's love, and I'm thankful for the people around me."

WATCH RELATED: CHP to begin holiday 'Maximum Enforcement' campaign (November 2021)