Community responds to food bank's turkey shortage

In the spirit of giving, community members and businesses Thursday began working to make sure San Francisco’s low-income families won’t be left with empty plates Thanksgiving Day.

Donations were made in response to Tuesday’s report from the San Francisco Food Bank that turkey and money donations were low and there was a deficit of about 400 Thanksgiving turkeys.

Wells Fargo Bank responded with a $50,000 donation to food banks throughout the Bay Area.

“I got the call (Thursday) morning and they are sending the check over,” Executive Director of the San Francisco Food Bank Paul Ash said. “We are thrilled that Wells Fargo answered the call.”

Food bank officials have been concerned the shortage of turkeys would not feed 20,000 households needing food Thanksgiving Day, Ash said.

“Last year at this time we had more than 1,000 turkeys on hand. This year we have fewer than 700. We hope that once members of our San Francisco community know about this crisis, they’ll step forward and help us provide a holiday meal for families and individuals in need,” Ash said Tuesday.

However, with the $50,000 donation from Wells Fargo Bank, the San Francisco Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and Marin Community Food Bank will each receive $10,000- enough for 3,300 turkeys.

“Wells Fargo is giving thanks by doing what we can to make sure more families can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal,” said Lisa Stevens, bank president for the Bay Area.

Delivery company FedEx also answered the call for turkeys, offering to match turkey donations one for one until needs were met, Ash said.

Community members scrambled to get involved, Ash said. Turkeys were brought to the food bank and money donations were given over the phone Tuesday when residents learned of the deficit.

With the newfound supplies and funding, food bank officials look forward to using leftover resources to feed families throughout the holiday season, Ash said.

The San Francisco Food Bank will continue to accept donations.

Turkey donations can be made between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the food bank, at 900 Pennsylvania Ave.

Monetary donations will also be used to purchase turkeys. Every $15 in donations allows the food bank to purchase one turkey, according to officials. Donations can be made online at www.sfoodbank.org.

— Bay City News

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