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Game feed is Manteca holiday tradition
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Frank Teixeira works one of the grills at a previous Costa’s Wild Game Feed event. - photo by Bulletin file photo

More than a thousand people are expected to descend on Manteca Trailer and Motorhome Friday morning for a “wild” Christmas party. 

For decades the annual Costa’s Wild Game Feed has been drawing friends and residents from throughout Northern California and even nearby states to enjoy food – the kind of unique, wild game that you can’t buy in stores – fellowship, and fun, all in the name of charity.

It takes place in Manteca Trailer’s showroom at East Yosemite & Vasconcellos avenues from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Friday. On the menu is salmon, halibut, trout, rock cod, calamari, pheasant, duck, goose, quail, dove, deer, elk, wild pig, bear plus other assorted game and fish. There are also salads, other dishes, and dessert.

In order to feed that many people, it takes a team of volunteers that are willing to start early with the preparation and the cooking of the bounty of local sportsmen who put a piece of their annual take off to the side to help make the annual event a reality. 

Frank Teixeira, who owns and operates Fagundes Meats and Catering, will be one of the volunteers there with his tow-behind trailer, cooking up everything from deer and elk to fish and pheasant. It’s not usually what Teixeira has on his grill, but getting the chance to be a part of something special – something he has volunteered at for more than 25 years – that also benefits needy families at the time of the year they need help the most. 

“I enjoy the fact that every cent that is raised goes to needy families,” Teixeira said of why he has been a longtime volunteer. “It’s just something that was started by the elder Costas, and the kids took it over and it has grown so much – it’s an event that is all based on the support of the community. 

“People enjoy coming out and trying all of these different foods and donating because they know that their money is going to help people who need the help.”

Originally a company event hosted by Jim and Jesse Costa’s father as a way to help out a worker with a large family that found himself alone with his children during the holidays, the event has grown considerably over the years – moving multiple times to accommodate the crowds that turn the Friday gathering into an all-day affair. 

It’s not uncommon, according to organizers, to have former Manteca residents that have moved to places like Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to come back to town for the event. It takes dozens of people to man the massive grills necessary to cook up enough food to feed the more than crush of people who donate what they can in order to help fund the charity aspect of the event. 

At the end of the day, Teixeira says, it’s truly one big Christmas party where old friends and new friends come together and enjoy a meal together. 

“It really is just a gigantic social gathering – old buddies getting together and supporting a great cause,” Teixeira said. “There are some cases where this is the only time of the year that you get to see some of these people.

“It’s a great gathering, and people really look forward to it – it’s been going for a long time, and it just seems to keep getting better every year.”

Complimenting the main entrees will be various side dishes which are also donated. If you can’t make it to the feed but are willing to help the needy, send a check to P.O. Box 2036, Manteca, CA 95336. Make checks payable to Costa’s Automotive with Game Feed noted in the memo. For further details, call Jim or Jesse Costa at 209.823.0781 or 209.823.6414.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.