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

The 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.

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 contains a gift card to be used towards a turkey, food, a roasting pan for the turkey and a laundry basket to carry it all. Money is collected throughout the year from a variety of sources such as City employees, community organizations and private donors. 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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Volunteers are needed at the beginning of the day to pack gift baskets with supplies and goodies. As you can imagine, putting together 350+ baskets is an endeavor all by itself but with a dedicated cadre of community volunteers, each basket is packed with care and efficiency.  Afterwards, we look to volunteers to help deliver the baskets throughout the community. 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 22nd.

Quick facts:

When: November 22, 9:00am

Where: MVPD 1000 Villa St, Mountain View

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

Who: Amber Wilson / 650-903-6344 /

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