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Turkeys R Us short 739 birds for Thanksgiving
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Manteca’s near record unemployment rate of 13.5 percent coupled with employers that have had to cut back hours for those still working has painted a different picture of need this holiday season.

A large number of households in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop are struggling to make ends meet with little – if any – leftover for a traditional holiday meal.  Churches that operate distribution centers aimed at helping those who are struggling noted that many of those families will simply get by with what they can – macaroni and cheese and other food closet staples – on Thanksgiving.

That is why there are about 200 more households in needs this year for both Thanksgiving and Christmas bringing the total to 1,300. Many of those are single parents, traditional families where they have lost one or two incomes, and elderly as well as those who are on long-term assistance.

Turkeys R Us is now up to $7,856 in donations as of Monday with a little over a week to go before an order needs to be placed to secure turkeys and distribute them to the various food closets serving the three communities so they can be given away in time for Thanksgiving. That is enough to secure at least 561 turkeys leaving the Turkeys R Us effort to come up with the main course for 739 more families.

Turkeys R Us needs to come up with between $7,000 and $10,000 in more donations just to cover the need for Thanksgiving. The better price the group is able to negotiate for buying in volume the better price they can get.

They also need to raise double the amount they need for Thanksgiving to cover Christmas needs as well.

Organizers are hoping to get a big boost in actual turkey donations today during the 8 a.m. Manteca Chamber of Commerce coffee taking place at Second Harvest Food Bank on Industrial Park Drive at Bessemer Avenue. Eleven people have dropped by frozen birds so far. Many people opt to buy a second turkey when they pick one up for their own family meal or take advantage of stores that offer a free turkey with the purchase of so many groceries in one order.

Turkeys R Us – working through Second Harvest Food Bank – supplies the main course for Thanksgiving and Christmas each year.

Small donations of $25, S10, and $5 constitute the bulk of Turkeys R Us donations.

Donations (make checks out to Turkeys R Us) can be dropped off at Coldwell Banker Crossroads offices at 319 Main Street near North Street in Manteca or 15810 S. Harlan Road in Lathrop or the Second Harvest Food Bank, 704 E. Industrial Park Drive in Manteca.

If you want to donate a frozen turkey or ham, take it directly to the food bank

For more information contact Crossroads Real Estate at 823-8141 or the food bank at 239-2091.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail