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Local Nonprofits Rounding Up Turkeys for Holiday Meals

The Foodbank and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission are in need of donations

With Thanksgiving just a week away, local nonprofit organizations are hoping that turkeys keep flying off the shelves and into their arms.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission are in the midst of food drives and turkey donations in anticipation of the upcoming winter months.

The Foodbank is extending its hours to receive more needed turkeys, food and funds. Both facilities will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to collect donations.

As of Friday morning, the Foodbank had collected 1,799 turkeys, but it still needs many more turkeys.

It has been a bit of a strange year, Foodbank public relations manager Kerry Main Aller said. Many people want chicken instead of turkeys because of diet, culture or size. “Some people don’t have giant ovens — some of these turkeys are huge,” she said.

January through March are the leaner months, donation-wise, so the Foodbank hopes to get enough to help it through those months, she said.

Its holiday food drive continues through Dec. 31, but it accepts food and monetary donations year-round.

The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission also is gathering turkey and monetary donations for its Nov. 25 feast.

The mission doesn’t receive government funding, so local individuals, foundations, churches and businesses support the organization.

Turkey donations have been coming later this year — the goal is 900 — and the mission didn’t start cooking for the feast until this week, communications director Rebecca Wilson said.

One community member held a pie-making party and donated 17 pumpkin pies to the cause.

Wilson also said the holiday season is when the most donations are made, but the predictability makes planning the rest of the year easier. “The last quarter of the year is when people pour out in all forms of support,” she said.

The Rescue Mission usually feeds 100 to 130 homeless people each night for dinner, and many stay overnight for breakfast. There are about 70 people in the mission’s various programs.

The Thanksgiving feast will feed about 300 people, Wilson said.

People can donate money, canned items or turkeys to the Foodbank and the Rescue Mission at their various drop-off points. The Foodbank’s warehouses are at 4554 Hollister Ave. in Santa Barbara and 490 W. Foster Road in Santa Maria. The Rescue Mission is at 535 E. Yanonali St. in Santa Barbara.

In addition, Santa Barbara Junior High School is holding a canned food drive.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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