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Community Rallies for Thanksgiving

December 7, 2012

The San Francisco and Marin Food Banks issued a call for help to overcome a Thanksgiving turkey shortage, and the community came through with a huge response.

“Just five days after we put out a call for donations, we had completely filled the need,” says Food Bank Executive Director Paul Ash. “We're so grateful to live in a community that cares about our neighbors in need and rallies together to support people who are struggling to put food on the table.”

The Food Bank provides turkeys and other foods to organizations that cook Thanksgiving meals for the hungry such as the Salvation Army, Walden House, Grace Cathedral and St. Vincent de Paul’s Dining Room.

A True Community Effort

In total, the community donated enough turkeys and funding to supply the Food Bank’s partner agencies with more than 1,700 turkeys.

Individual donors dropped off hundreds of frozen turkeys at our warehouses in San Francisco and Marin. The San Francisco Giants management donated $10,000 for turkey purchases. Mayor Ed Lee made a donation of 100 birds, and the Executive Director of the Union Square Business Improvement District, Karin Flood, personally delivered 127 birds to the Food Bank warehouse. 

By the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Food Bank was flush with turkeys and filling waitlist orders. 

“Thanks to the generous community support, we were able to meet the increased demand for turkeys this year. Now we can concentrate on coming up with the food we'll need for the holidays in December and to get people through the winter,” Ash says.

Hundreds of people also made monetary donations to help the Food Bank distribute food for Thanksgiving meals to over 30,000 families through its neighborhood pantry network. FedEx sponsored a $30,000 matching gift campaign, and donors met the match and actually exceeded the goal.

Monetary Donations Still Needed for the Holidays

Though the Thanksgiving rush is over, the need for funding to feed people at risk of hunger in in our community is ongoing.

The Food Bank is the largest holiday meal provider in San Francisco and Marin, so there is an urgent need for funding to help meet the demand. In fact, during the holiday season we expect to raise more than half of the funding we need to operate throughout the year.

“We're concerned about hitting our fundraising targets,” Ash says. “The elections were at the top of people’s minds for quite a while — but we're hoping that as we head into the holidays, people will turn their attention to helping their neighbors in need.”