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Collections today, Sunday for Turkeys R Us
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Manteca City Transit Analyst Georgia Lantsberger helps place more food donations in the bus on Friday. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Ninety-six turkeys were collected Friday on the first day of the Stuff the Bus drive to collect food for Thanksgiving for struggling families in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.
It brings the number of turkeys collect so far to 1,113. That leaves 487 to come up with before Monday, the absolute deadline to getting turkeys to 30 food closets serving the three communities.
Donations can be made at the following locations:
uToday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Manteca Transit is conducting the Stuff the Bus event at the Food-4-Less parking lot at 131 Spreckels Avenue.
uToday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Safeway on South Main Street where the Manteca Firefighters Association will try to fill a fire truck with turkeys and food.
uSunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hoyt Lane playing fields where Northgate Little League will be collecting turkeys and other items.
Stuff the Bus for Thanksgiving dinners is a combined operation of the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Manteca Transit Bus team. The bus is parked in front of the Food For Less grocery store on Spreckels Avenue south of East Yosemite Avenue.
Food Bank’s executive secretary Jessica Vaughan took to the Yosemite Avenue sidewalk near the entrance of the shopping center and danced with her sign for about two hours without taking much of a break – hoping to lure Mantecans in to the bus that was filling with turkeys within two hours after the event began. 
She said one couple brought in six turkeys to their office in the industrial park on Friday and noticed they were having trouble with a couple of unstable filing cabinets.  Putting down their gifts of turkeys, they found the files had more problems than they had expected, so they returned to their business and put two of their filing cabinets into their truck and donated them to Second Harvest Food Bank.
The Kaiser Hospital Urology Team followed closely behind bringing five turkeys into the office.
Theresa Riviera, of Stockton, was one of the first to push her yellow grocery cart with a turkey next to the transit bus parked across from the grocery store’s entrance.  She said it was easier for her to shop in Manteca than in Stockton.  Riviera said she was donating food because she realized all people sometimes need a helping hand.
Sandra Henricks was close behind with the sum total of her shopping in another yellow basket telling volunteers it was all theirs for the hungry at Thanksgiving.  She had grown up on a farm in Iowa and recognized those in need of her help.  She had retired from being a medical transcriber in Salinas and other Bay Area communities.  She has lived in Manteca for the past six years. 
Mona Manchaca was another who donated groceries she had just purchased inside the store.  She is unemployed but still wanted to give the best she could to those less fortunate than her  at the present time.  She has been a project coordinator, document control and worked in production control for Bay Area companies. 
Manteca Transit employee with Dial-A-Ride William Love stood long in the parking lot handing out fliers hoping to persuade shoppers to buy a little something extra for a better Thanksgiving for others in the community.
Sue Orneals – a Mantecan for 17 years – provided canned good including yams plus stuffing – “just something to help people” – over the holiday next week.  She moved to Manteca from Redwood City.
Dee Michael was the transit company’s supervisor on duty for the day.
Another woman food provider – Vinny Cookson, said she was just trying to help out the community by “paying it forward,” with a turkey and canned goods.  She and her husband were responsible for collecting 1,000 citizens’ signatures in the fight against the filing American with Disabilities lawsuits against Manteca businesses.
There were eight people volunteering their time Friday morning with 35 scheduled throughout the weekend.