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Turkeys R Us short 1,354 turkeys
Joe Gonzales of Joe Gonzales Trucking, center, presents a $250 check to Mike Mallory.

Joe Gonzales Trucking is providing a turkey dinner for 13 struggling families this Thanksgiving.

That is what the firm’s $250 donation to Turkeys R Us will do.

The community has donated $4,925 so far towards the $16,000 needed to make sure struggling families in Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon may have a traditional Thanksgiving this year through the Turkeys R Us effort.

Donors have made a point of noting Thanksgiving is about counting blessings and sharing.  As such several have said they would not feel right celebrating Thanksgiving with their families knowing there are neighbors that may go without.

With 17 days left to Thanksgiving, the 17th annual Turkeys R Us Drive has enough to purchase 246 turkeys. Food closets serving the three communities need 3,200 turkeys for the main course for Thanksgiving and Christmas for 1,600 families. The effort needs either 1,354 more turkeys or more than $26,000 in cash to purchase just turkeys for Thanksgiving at $20 a pop. Another 1,600 turkeys are needed for Christmas.

Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Mike Mallory said if they can’t supply a traditional Thanksgiving dinner struggling families will have food for the holidays. It will more than likely be hot dogs or Spam, mac and cheese, perhaps some canned vegetables and maybe Jell-O for dessert.  

Mallory noted Turkeys R us actually has just 11 days to raise funds for the Thanksgiving portion as the food has to be distributed to the 30 food closets that work with those in need at various locations in Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and the South County.

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.