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Turkey Shortage at Local Food Banks: Can You Help?

Second Harvest Food Bank is only half-way toward its goal of collecting 12,000 turkeys before Thanksgiving. Pacifica Resource Center could use your help, too.

Food banks around the Bay Area are asking for more donations as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.

Second Harvest Food Bank of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties said that with Thanksgiving less than a week away, it is still only half-way towards its goal of collecting 12,000 donated turkeys to distribute to needy families.

Second Harvest partners with incorporated, non-profit agencies that serve at least 70 percent low-income people such as the Pacifica Resource Center, a community-based organization dedicated to stabilizing Pacifica families and individuals by providing a safety net of food, housing assistance, and other critical services along with advocacy, coaching, information, and referral.

During the holiday season, turkey is an important tradition for many local families, said Second Harvest spokeswoman Caitlin Kerk.

Second Harvest will provide Pacifica Resource Center Safeway gift cards for 150 Pacifica families in need so they can purchase a turkey this Thanksgiving.

The Pacifica Resource Center will also accept donations of frozen turkeys, which can be dropped off by calling first 650-738-7470. Pacifica Resource Center does not have the space for more than 15 turkeys at a time, so please call before dropping off your donation.

Still, collecting turkeys is only one of Second Harvest's holiday goals.           

"Since Thanksgiving is next week, turkeys are our immediate need...but our monetary goal is $12.4 million and 2 million pounds of non-perishable foods that will feed many needy families throughout the coming year."

According to Kerk, turkey donations to Second Harvest are slightly behind what they were at the same time last year. Kerk said she suspected the lag had been caused by national attention on the November elections.

Turkey donations — frozen turkeys only please — can be dropped off at Coastside Hope, 99 Ave Alhambra Ave., El Granada. Or if you're over the hill, you can drop off turkeys at Second Harvest's San Carlos center at 1051 Bing St. or at its San Jose center at 750 Curtner Ave.

Cash donations can be made online at www.SHFB.org. The website also has more information about donation center hours of operation.

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