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Effort 299 short with just days to go
Helping Hands volunteer Patty Glogovac gives a helping push during Saturdays distribution of 200 Thanksgiving food baskets at the Cornerstone Church. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Mike Mallory is keeping his fingers crossed.

Turkeys R Us needs another 299 turkeys to make sure struggling families in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop don’t have to resort to macaroni and cheese - or even cereal as their main meal this Thanksgiving.

Last minute donations today and Tuesday could possible make it 12 years in a row that no one has gone without on Thanksgiving in the three communities. The need this year is 2,900 turkeys.

The bulk of the 2,601 turkeys collected so far were delivered in time to food closets food closets that distrusted holiday baskets over the weekend or today. There are still a few along the  food closets that will do their turkey distribution Tuesday and even as late as Wednesday.

This is the first time in te past 12 years that the Turkeys R Us effort didn’t have all turkeys on hand a week before Thanksgiving.

Cornerstone Church’s Helping Hands Ministry was among the organizations that distributed food baskets on Saturday They capped at 200 families.

Mallory not that the 30 food closets serving the three communities work hard to avoid duplication. That means if another 299 turkeys aren’t secured they will not be able to meet the need.

Food closets see a surge in demand this time of year with requests for help. The additional requests come from families that usually try to avoid asking for help. They tend to be families that have seen a reduction in pay or hours, have lost a job in the household, have been hit by unexpected medical bills, are single parent homes, or are seniors on limited incomes.

Fouling up the drive this year is the fact the cost of a traditional turkey dinner has skyrocketed by 13 percent over 2010 prices according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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 LeAnn McNabb at 815-6754, Sue 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.