San Francisco (September 13, 2023) – The 12th annual SF Turkey Drive will kick off Saturday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. Emydius Church. The drive, which was started by San Francisco resident Pierre Smit, is a collaboration with St. Emydius Church in the Ingleside District and the San Francisco Zoo.
Individuals are encouraged to bring turkeys (preferably frozen), boxes of fresh vegetables and/or monetary donations to the SF Turkey Drive’s November and December drop off locations:
- Saturday, November 18, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
St. Emydius Church parking lot, 350 De Montfort Ave., San Francisco
- Monday, November 20, 2023, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
SF Zoo Main Parking Lot
- December 16, 2023, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
St. Emydius Church, 350 De Montfort Ave., San Francisco
“I started the SF Turkey Drive out of my home in 2012, and every year since we’ve been collecting turkeys on the Saturdays before Thanksgiving and before Christmas,” said Pierre Smit. “With food prices increasing rapidly, I’ve seen first-hand the impact on low-income people. But everyone needs to eat. And I believe with a meal, everyone finds hope for a better tomorrow.”
This is a critical time for neighbors facing food insecurity. As social safety net services are weakened, we’ve seen the number of people experiencing food insecurity in this country go up by 31%, and child poverty rates double from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022. In our very own community, we are seeing 83% of Food Bank participants worry about running out food, and 61% wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency expense (2023 Hunger Report).
While the Food Bank is currently serving more than 50,000 households across San Francisco and Marin counties each week, it is also seeing cuts in funding and government support that are making this level of services unsustainable.
“We are seeing fewer and fewer industry donations of important items like turkeys. Coupled with inflation and declining donations from the USDA, this means we are now spending five times more on food compared to before the pandemic,” said Barbara Abbott, Chief Supply Chain Officer, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “We are so grateful the SF Turkey Drive selected us to be their beneficiary for the first time this year.”
One hundred percent of donations to the 12th Annual SF Turkey Drive will go to the Food Bank. What began as a grassroots campaign has blossomed into a holiday tradition and chance for individuals to directly support their neighbors. The drive hopes to collect at least 1,300 turkeys.
ABOUT THE FOOD BANK
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin, where even before the pandemic, one in five neighbors was at risk of hunger. We envision a community where everyone has access to nutritious food of their choosing and is uplifted by a network of support. Together with community partners, we work to address hunger head-on through neighborhood food pantries, CalFresh enrollment, home-delivered groceries, and policy and advocacy efforts. We work with our community to create lasting solutions to address both the hunger we see today and the root causes that perpetuate food insecurity in our society. Every week, more than 50,000 households count on us for food assistance. 60% of what we distribute is fresh fruits and vegetables. Visit sfmfoodbank.org to learn more.
Keely Hopkins, Senior Communications Manager