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Turkey Dinners for Little Tokyo Residents


By Carolyn Tokunaga

After a 3-year pandemic hiatus, Centenary’s Harry Terukina Kitchen was once again filled with joyful voices, bustling preparations, and delicious food aromas.

On Wednesday, November 23, Centenary youth, families, and friends gathered to prepare full Thanksgiving dinners to be distributed to residents of Little Tokyo Towers, Little Tokyo Hotel, and the San Pedro Firm Building. Ten turkeys were cooked, stuffing was made, potatoes were boiled and mashed, pumpkin squares were baked, and corn, cranberries, yams and gravy were prepared.

On Thanksgiving Day, a crew gathered at 7:00 am to pack and bag the containers of food to be distributed to the seniors and individuals or couples who would not otherwise have a holiday meal. Once all of the individual items were organized and packaged, the bags were put on carts to be delivered. Centenary members could be seen pushing the carts in Little Tokyo, knocking on doors, and bringing Thanksgiving cheer to the residents.

Thanksgiving turkey dinners have been a Centenary tradition since the 35th and Normandie days in the 70s. Some of those original participants brought their children this year to experience this blessing of giving. Supported by donations of food and money from church members and prepared by volunteers, it was an outreach ministry of love as we shared our blessings with others.

Go to and see the video of Centenary’s 2022 Thanksgiving Dinners Community Project. Call Centenary at (213) 617-9097 if you would like to help in 2023!

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