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Pandemic creating additional need for holidays, upcoming winter months
turkey donate
Ruth Claybrooks donated 10 turkeys to the Turkeys R Us effort

The pandemic has created the biggest need when it comes to putting food on the table for the holidays and winter in Manteca in at least 40 years.

COVID-19 has not only created a surge in job losses, but the coronavirus is forcing changes in how longstanding Manteca events to make sure those struggling at the holidays will be able to have a traditional family meal.

*The Turkeys R Us drive — that for 22 consecutive years has made sure every struggling family in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop had the traditional main dish of turkey for Thanksgiving and ham at Christmas — needs 1,800 turkeys within 18 days.

*Almost all of the turkey drives to help reach that goal that provided over 700 turkeys last year have had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 issues.

*The Second Harvest Food Bank — with rising need due to COVID-19 job losses — is trying to raise $30,000 going into winter that will allow it to leverage food worth five to seven times that amount to assist struggling families.

*Thanksgiving in Manteca — a cooperative effort of volunteer groups led by  the Sunrise Kiwanis and Manteca Rotary that served 2,200 free meals last Thanksgiving — is switching to a drive-thru format for dinner service. They are also on the need of financial donations with just over two weeks to go.

The Second Harvest Food Bank that is helping coordinate the Turkeys R Us Drive for the Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop area as well as the cash collection effort to buy additional food to meet the increased demand this winter, is also conducting a general food drive.

In addition to frozen turkeys that are looking for canned goods, boxed meals, biscuit mix, stuffing, cereal, oatmeal, rice and dry beans.

Last week to get the effort going there were 23 turkeys and $1,500 in cash donated.

Frozen turkeys can be dropped off at Second Harvest Food Bank at 1220 Vanderbilt Circle off of  Industrial Park Drive in Manteca Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Money donations can be made online at or dropped off or at Second Harvest.

If you have questions contact the food bank at 239.2091.


Community Thanksgiving dinner

seeks donations and volunteers

Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis in partnership with Manteca Rotary, Manteca Unified School District, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Police Chief’s Foundation, Interact Club of Manteca, and Manteca Police Officers Association; is hosting the 11th Annual “Thanksgiving in Manteca” for those in the community that otherwise would not have a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  

Because of social distancing, this year they will be hosting drive through events from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Mountain Mikes Pizza (1120 N. Main St) and the Manteca Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall (580 Moffat Blvd.), in Manteca, on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26.    

They anticipate serving more than 2,500 men, women, and children a Thanksgiving Dinner, who otherwise would not have the means to cook dinner, or are by themselves.   Dinner includes turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, corn, roll and pumpkin pie.  Thanksgiving dinner is available for takeout or delivery.     

There are four ways you can help.  Being a cash donor, donating a turkey (delivered to the Second Harvest Food Bank), donating your time to help prepare and serve the meals, and/or an online donation at   

Checks can be made out to Manteca Sunrise Kiwanis “Thanksgiving in Manteca” P.O. Box 752, Manteca, CA.  95336. You can contact Carol Davis (209) 825-4282 for more information.  All donations are tax deductible.  If you would like to donate your time to prepare and or serve the meals, contact Tevani Liotard at or sign up at


to contact Dennis Wyatt, email