The History Behind Mountain View Police Officers’ Association Annual “Cops & Gobblers”

CG 5 2013The brain child of retired Officer Steve Mello, the Cops and Gobblers Thanksgiving Food Drive provides complete Thanksgiving meals to Mountain View families in need – for the past 18 years – and is seeking additional donations.

The initial food drive in 1997 provided food baskets for approximately 15 families in Mountain View. Last year, the number exceeded 350 families and this year we are expecting to provide to even more. Retired Captain Bruce Barsi, who has been a driving force behind the success of the program from the start, said, “Unfortunately there are more families in the community that can use the help that we won’t be able to accommodate this year. Even in such a prosperous area of California and the country, sadly there are still families in need.” In addition to Ofc. Mello and Cpt. Barsi, former Mayor Joe Cusimano and his son Matt are also co-founders and supporters of the food drive.

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Even though retired, both Officer Mello and Captain Barsi remain dedicated to the community they served for so long and continue to direct the operation each year. For the past 6 years Records Specialist Amber Wilson has taken the reigns and plans to continue the food drive pushing forward with an ultimate goal of feeding all Mountain View families that are in need of help.

Today the list of families referred to the Cops and Gobblers drive come from a variety of sources including officers, schools, CHAC (Community Health Awareness Council) and other community organizations. Any police employee can refer a family to the program as well. Patrol officers, detectives and executive staff are encouraged to add to the list as they encounter families in need.

Each basket, which includes a $10 gift card to be used towards a turkey, food, a roasting pan for the turkey and a laundry basket to carry it all, averages about $50. Money is collected throughout the year from a variety of sources such as City employees, community organizations and private donors. This year we were fortunate to make our goal because of a donation from a Mountain View based corporation. There is always need for additional financial support – it gets us closer to providing for every family in need in our community. This is a great way for local businesses and community members to give back and pay their thanks forward. If you or your company would like to donate to Cops and Gobblers, please contact Amber Wilson –

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We need volunteers before and during the event. As you can imagine, putting together 350+ baskets is an endeavor all by itself. Delivering the baskets is also challenging. If you are interested in helping there is no need to RSVP; just show up to the Police Department, 1000 Villa St, at 9am on Sunday, November 23rd.

Quick facts:

When: November 23, 9:00am

Where: MVPD 1000 Villa St, Mountain View

How: Volunteers to deliver baskets / Financial donations for the program

Who: Amber Wilson / 650-903-6344

One thought on “The History Behind Mountain View Police Officers’ Association Annual “Cops & Gobblers”

  1. breida

    Hello, i was woundering where can we sign up for reciving a basket if tjere doinh it again for chrsitmas?? Thanks

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