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Turkeys R Us needs 1,700 turkeys within 23 days

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Turkeys R Us needs 1,700 turkeys within 23 days

Mike Mallory of the Turkeys R Us effort needs 1,700 turkeys to meet the Thanksgiving need in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED October 31, 2013 11:52 p.m.

Turkey R Us organizers have some good news and some bad news.

First the good news: For the first time in eight years the number of struggling families facing Thanksgiving and Christmas with the prospect of no traditional meals isn’t increasing. In fact, it has declined slightly.

Now for the bad news: There are still 1,700 families in need in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.

And with Thanksgiving just 28 days away, Turkeys R Us has just over three weeks to collect turkeys and/or cash to purchase birds to make sure they are delivered in time to the nearly three dozen food closets serving the three communities.

That is just half of the need. They also are trying to meet the same need for turkeys and hams at Christmas for 1,700 families.

The generosity of people continue to surprise Turkeys R Us organizers.

“We had one lady who was unemployed last year and was struggling to put food on her own table that came by and donated two turkeys,” Jessica Vaughan recalled. “We tried to get her to keep them but she insisted. She said she knew  what it is like to not be able to put any food on your table for your family and knew there were people with greater needs than she had.”

For the first time since the initial year, Turkeys R Us was not able to meet the entire demand for Thanksgiving 2012. They did, however, have enough funds and turkeys for Christmas last year.

That has allowed them to start the 16th annual Turkeys R Us drive with $1,950 on hand. Assuming turkeys go for a little more than $1.10 a pound if they can secure that good of a deal, they will need at least $37,000 to meet this year’s demand plus provide fixings for holiday dinners.

Sue Teunissen, who helped start Turkeys R Us 16 years ago, noted given the short time frame there is an urgency to make sure no one goes without this Thanksgiving. The turkey count also includes more than 100 birds for the community turkey dinner being staged on Thanksgiving Day by Manteca Rotary.

The first organized turkey drive is during Wednesday’s Manteca Chamber of Commerce coffee being hosted Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 8 a.m. at the Second Harvest Food Bank on Industrial Park Drive.

If you can assist Turkeys R Us, contact Coldwell Banker Crossroads (North and North Main Street in Manteca) at 823-8141. You can also call Lee McNabb at 815-6754, Teunissen at 483-3365, or the Second Harvest Food Bank at 239-2091.

If you have an actual turkey you’d like to donate, you can take it directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank on Industrial Park Drive near the branch post office and indicate it is for Turkeys R Us. The drop-off can be done Monday through Friday before 4:30 p.m.

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