Great need for holiday turkeys in Bay Area

Second Harvest Food Bank needs 4,500 holiday birds and is asking the public for donations

A food bank in the Bay Area is banking on the generosity of residents as it tries to collect enough turkeys to feed families this Thanksgiving.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties said that it needs turkeys that will be distributed to local pantries and soup kitchens that provide clients with a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

The food bank still needs about 4,500 turkeys to reach its goal of 11,500 turkeys, officials said.

"Turkeys are a meaningful food item during the holidays, particularly around Thanksgiving," the food bank's CEO Kathy Jackson said in a statement this week.

"We are hoping to meet our turkey goal this year so that families who want a turkey won't have to go without."

Donations can be dropped off at the food bank's sites in San Jose or in San Carlos. Extended hours will make it easier for people to donate.

The San Jose site at 750 Curtner Ave. is open for donations Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The food bank reminds those who wish to donate that turkeys should not be placed in food barrels -- where they will spoil -- located throughout the community.

Today, Boy Scouts will go door-to-door to collect food, which will be dropped off at the food bank later the same day.

Jackson said to serve families in need, the food bank is also asking for cash donations.

"With Second Harvest's purchasing power and ability to secure food, we can turn a $1 donation into two meals, including fresh produce and

protein items," she said. "A donation of cash will help us feed local families all year long."

According to the food bank, this holiday season one in 10 people in the community will receive food from Second Harvest, which feeds about

250,000 people every month in both counties.

Safeway Inc. is teaming up with Kraft Foods, customers, local food banks and broadcast partners to collect food donations at Safeway stores through Christmas Eve.

The company launched its "Help Us End Hunger" food drive on Wednesday.

"This campaign provides an opportunity for us to help make a brighter holiday for countless families," Safeway executive Larree Renda said


Food banks and their volunteers are expected to meet customers and donors today, according to Safeway.

Stores will be selling a specially produced shopping bag filled with items food banks often need the most. The $10 bag includes rice, pasta,

canned vegetables, tuna, and cranberry sauce, among other foodstuffs.

— Bay City News Service

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