Forty-one struggling families in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop will have turkeys on their table this Thanksgiving and Christmas thanks to second graders at Great Valley Academy.
The second graders at the charter school on Button Avenue in Manteca conducted a bake sale to raise $493 for the Turkeys R Us Drive. That covers the cost of 41 turkeys.
“The community has been great,” Second Harvest Food Bank executive director Mike Mallory said. “We still need a hundred or so turkeys to cover the need for Christmas.”
This marks the 17th consecutive year the community has made sure neighbors and other residents in the three communities had a traditional turkey meal on Thanksgiving instead of just macaroni and cheese, a typical food bank staple at this time of year.
Mallory said the Turkeys R US volunteers are still hoping to make it 17 years in a row to meet the need for Christmas for 950 struggling families.
Turkeys R Us received $512 in cash and 15 frozen turkeys on Wednesday. So far, they have collected enough for 1,843 turkeys for distribution in the community. The goal is 1,900 for the families for both holidays while an additional 200 turkeys are being used at the free community Thanksgiving dinner being served today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mountain Mike’s Pizza at Main Street and Louise Avenue in Manteca.
The list of recipients run the gamut from families who have been living paycheck to paycheck and are barely keeping afloat who don’t see food assistance except at the holidays, to struggling families headed by single moms, seniors on fixed income, families where the head of household has lost jobs or that have suffered serve cutbacks in hours or pay, and families dealing with a major financial crisis triggered by health issues.
Frozen turkeys can be taken to Second Harvest 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.localfoodbank.org or dropped off or mailed to Second Harvest, Coldwell Banker 319 N. Main St. Manteca, or Beacon Realty 211 E. Center St. Manteca.