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Turkey donation avalanche
Mantecans donate 800 turkeys in 2 days
TURKEY NGLL1 11-23-15
Northgate Little League President Mike Calmes preparing for this past Sundays food collection that netted 49 turkeys. - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

Call it the 800 turkey weekend.
Manteca donors opened their hearts and pockets while smashing donation records to give 394 turkeys and $8,000 to purchase another 400 turkeys to make sure no one in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop goes without this weekend.
“We won’t know absolutely for sure until (today) whether we have everything covered,” said Jessica Vaughn who is helping coordinate the Turkeys R Us effort aimed at helping 1,600 struggling families in the three communities have not just the main course for Thanksgiving but the tradional trimmings as well.
The odds are good, though, that the goal for Thanksgiving has been met and a healthy start on securing another 1,600 turkeys or hams for Christmas.
Vaughn noted:
uThe three-day Stuff the Bus effort staged by Manteca Transit at Food-4-Less doubled last year’s collection receiving 202 turkeys and other food items as well.
uSaturday’s Manteca Firefighters Association’s collection outside of Safeway blew the doors off their goal by bringing in 142 turkeys plus other food.
uSunday’s Northgate Little League collected 49 turkeys and added $20 to allow the purchase of a 50th bird to surpass last year’s effort of 30 turkeys.
In addition the Lori’s — a real estate partnership affiliated with PMZ — dropped of a check for $2,000. The Wheels of Woodbridge added another $1,000 check, and various cash donations over the weekend came to $5,000.
“It was an incredible weekend,” Vaughn said. “This is the greatest community to live in. People are so giving.”
Vaughn may have a point. Second Harvest Food personnel in checking with counterparts across the country can’t find another community of 110,000 people — the combined population of Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop— that has made sure for 17 consecutive years that no one goes without on Thanksgiving.
In addition to distributing 1,600 turkeys through 30 food closets serving the three communities, the effort supplied 200 turkeys to the Thanksgiving in Manteca effort spearheaded by the Manteca Rotary and Sunrise Kiwanis service clubs. It takes place this Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mt. Mike’s Pizza, North Main Street and Louise Avenue.
The free meal is open to anyone that doesn’t want to celebrate Thanksgiving alone. Take-out or delivery meals can be ordered in advance by calling Jeff Liotard at (209) 825.4331 or emailing You need to leave your name, address and phone number and number of meals you want. They can be picked up at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Meals are on a first-come, first-served basis. Organizers anticipate severing 2,000 people this year.
After final costs are determined for Thanksgiving based on negotiated turkey prices, Turkeys R Us organizers will know how much they have toward their next goal — 1,600 turkeys (or hams) to take care of the 1,600 struggling families at Christmas.
The decision to add hams to the mix to provide to food closets means the main Christmas meal course can be purchased for less money. Donations to Turkeys R U typically drop off a bit after Thanksgiving
Turkeys R Us volunteer community coordinator LeAnn McNabb will pick up checks if she is contacted at her cell at 815-6754.
If you can assist Turkeys R Us, contact the Second Harvest Food Bank at 239-2091.
Second Harvest will accept frozen turkeys or hams from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the 704 E. Industrial Park Drive location in Manteca.
Donations can also be dropped off at Crossroads Real Estate at 250 Cherry Lane, Suite 105, in Manteca.