Story by Lt. Martin Herrera, AA/PIO
Photos by Rick Scott, Television Specialist

Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC)

Each year under the direction of Warden John Sutton, WSP-RC staff procures and serves a Thanksgiving meal to the students and residents of the local town of Allensworth, located 30 miles North of Bakersfield.

This small town, established in 1908 by Colonel Allen Allensworth, has survived difficult times throughout the 20th century. Today, the town is a State Historic Park and remains home to a handful of families in need.

During Thanksgiving, WSP-RC purchases enough food to provide a meal to these families. This year, 89 students, 12 Allensworth staff, and over 50 residents of the town attended the event and enjoyed the holiday meal. They were served turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Every year the staff at WSP-RC look forward to taking part in serving this wonderful community.

WSP-RC staff also crafted food baskets for needy families in the town of Wasco. It was all part of the prison’s annual Thanksgiving Basket Decorating Contest.

A collective effort of WSP-RC staff and local organizations such as CCPOA, CCWA, Elks Lodge, VFW and Walmart worked together in gathering and contributing food to fill  82 baskets for this year’s list of families provided from the local community of Wasco; schools, senior citizen organizations and the Sheriff’s Station.

Each basket was filled with enough food to feed a family of up to six people and included a gift card for a turkey or a ham. Most rewarding was seeing the reaction of the families as the baskets were delivered to their door. Many were moved to tears and just wanted to hug the staff in appreciation.