1,194 tur­keys still needed for strug­gling area fam­i­lies

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page - By DEN­NIS WY­ATT

Bev Hous­den 20 years ago vowed to do what she could to make sure ev­ery fam­ily in Man­teca, Ripon, and Lathrop could share in the Thanks­giv­ing bounty that many of us take for granted.

It is why she helped launch Tur­keys R Us some 20 years ago. Staff at what is now Crossroads Real Es­tate read in the Bul­letin how food clos­ets were short on tur­keys. They de­cided to gather up as many as they could and ended up tak­ing nearly three dozen frozen tur­keys to the food bank. When they asked if that would cover the need, they were stunned to find out food clos­ets in the area were still hun­dreds of tur­keys short. They de­cided at that mo­ment no one

with­out on the day that is tra­di­tion­ally about fam­i­lies, food, and count­ing bless­ings that none of their neigh­bors in Man­teca, Ripon, and Lathrop should go with­out.

For the next 19 years the com­mu­nity has stepped up and met the need. This year, how­ever, with a week to go, the ef­fort is strug­gling and may miss the mark for the first time de­spite the need be­ing 200 less tur­keys than last year.

As of Mon­day — with a week to go be­fore tur­keys need to be de­liv­ered to food clos­ets for dis­tri­bu­tion to fam­i­lies in time for Thanks­giv­ing — the ef­fort is 1,194 short of the 1,700 tur­keys needed.

On Mon­day, the com­mu­nity do­nated $900 as well as 16 frozen tur­keys to the Tur­keys R Us drive.

That brings the to­tal do­nated so far to $6,900. The money will buy 460 tur­keys at $15 apiece. Added to the 46 frozen tur­keys that have been do­nated so far, the ef­fort has now col­lected 506 tur­keys.

The 1,700 tur­key goal in­cludes 200 tur­keys needed for the Man­teca Ro­tary Club’s free com­mu­nity Thanks­giv­ing meal at Mt. Mike’s Pizza at Louise Av­enue and North Main Street that typ­i­cally serves more than 1,400 meals. Be­sides serv­ing meals on site, oth­ers are de­liv­ered to shutins in the three com­mu­ni­ties as well as free gath­er­ings in Ripon and Lathrop as well.

To help Tur­keys R Us the Man­teca Fire­fight­ers Lo­cal 1874 will col­lect tur­key do­na­tions on Sun­day, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. out­side the Safe­way store on South Main Street. Two Lit­tle Leagues — North­gate and Spreck­els Park — are also con­duct­ing tur­key drives on Nov. 19.

Sec­ond Har­vest Food Bank spokesper­son Jes­sica Vaughn said the ma­jor­ity ask­ing for help this Thanks­giv­ing are the work­ing poor, re­tired peo­ple on fixed in­come who are see­ing health care costs and other ex­penses eat up their pen­sions, and peo­ple caught in un­ex­pected emer­gen­cies such as los­ing their home in a fire or ma­jor med­i­cal costs not cov­ered by in­sur­ance.

The re­quest for help from such house­holds that of­ten don’t ask food clos­ets for help goes up dur­ing the hol­i­days due to in­creased heat­ing costs and other ex­penses plus the fact jobs that in­volve sea­sonal work tied into con­struc­tion and agri­cul­ture slow down just as Thanks­giv­ing hits.

Frozen tur­keys can be dropped off at Sec­ond Har­vest Food Bank at 704 E. In­dus­trial Park Drive in Man­teca Mon­day through Fri­day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mone­tary do­na­tions can be made on­line at www.lo­cal­food­ or dropped off or mailed to Sec­ond Har­vest; Cold­well Banker Crossroads Real Es­tate, 250 Cherry Lane, Suite 105, Man­teca, or Bea­con Re­alty 211 E. Cen­ter St., Man­teca.

If you have ques­tions con­tact the food bank at 239.2091, McNabb at 815.6754, or Hous­den at 823-8141.

Par­tic­i­pants in a 209 Core Fit­ness boot camp on Satur­day each do­nated a frozen tur­key as the price of the work­out to help the Tur­keys R Us drive. See ad­di­tional photos on Page A7.

HIME ROMERO/The Bul­letin

The 209 Core Per­for­mance boot­camp par­tic­i­pants pose with some of the tur­keys they do­nated Satur­day as the price to take part in the work­out.

Photos con­trib­uted

NEAR RIGHT PHOTO: Wil­liam Bro­gan, left, pre­sents a check for $300 to Rudy Va­len­cia. FAR RIGHT PHOTO: Kylie An­der­son, 9, and Katie An­der­son, 7, dropped off two tur­keys.

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