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16 days left to raise $18,400 to buy turkeys for Thanksgiving
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Struggling families in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop face their bleakest Thanksgiving in 12 years.

Turkeys R Us for the first time since 1997 may be unable to make sure families that rely on food banks in the three communities – from working single moms and the elderly to the unemployed – will be able to have the traditional turkey on their Thanksgiving table.

As of Friday, only $1,060 had been raised toward the $19,470 needed to order turkeys to make sure 1,300 families hit hard by the sluggish economy will have a traditional dinner.

“It’s going extremely slow,” said Turkeys R Us volunteer coordinator Sue Teunissen, noting organizers are worried they won’t be able to meet their goal for the first time in 12 years.

Manteca is suffering from 13.5 percent unemployment, up by almost 5 percent over last year at this time.

Turkeys R Us – working through Second Harvest Food Bank – supplies the main course for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year to the various food closets serving the three communities. To cover both holidays for the 1,300 families, the group needs to collect almost $40,000.

Small donations of $25, S10, and $5 constitute the bulk of Turkeys R Us donations

A number of people take the free turkeys they get for buying a set amount of food at supermarkets during the holidays and donate that to the effort.

Donations (make checks out to Turkeys R Us) can be dropped off at Coldwell Banker Crossroads offices at 319 Main Street near North Street in Manteca or 15810 S. Harlan Road in Lathrop or the Second Harvest Food Bank, 704 E. Industrial Park Drive in Manteca.

If you want to donate a frozen turkey or ham, take it directly to the food bank

For more information contact Crossroads Real Estate at 823-8141 or the food bank at 239-2091.