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WANTED: Turkeys for needy families

Submitted by on 1, November 17, 2010 – 12:03 amNo Comment

The Alameda Food Bank’s Paul Russell is on a mission: He wants to put a little more gobble into needy local families’ holidays. His goal is to collect 1,000 turkeys to put on the tables of Alameda families this holiday season, and he needs your help reaching it.

Collection efforts have been slower than normal this year, Russell said, and while he’s not sure why – it could be a lack of grocery store turkey bargains, or more families tightening their belts – what he does know is that the need for his services continues unabated. He said the food bank is on track to serve 5,500 Alameda residents this year, up from 3,300 in 2007.

Demand has leveled off from the rapid growth of the past few years, he said, “but we’re still serving at a record level.”

“If this is a recovery, it isn’t a pretty one,” he said.

As of Tuesday, the food bank had collected just 189 of the 500 turkeys Russell hopes to collect by next Tuesday, November 23, when they will hand turkeys out at the Alameda Point Collaborative with the help of employees from Wind River and Clif Bar and Alameda firefighters.

If you wish to donate a turkey or any other food, you can stop by the Alameda Food Bank at 1900 Thau Way (it’s the trailer on the way to Marina Village and the Posey Tube). They’re open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Another great donation opportunity: The Boy Scouts of America’s Scouting for Food program, which also benefits the Alameda Food Bank. To donate, simply fill up a grocery bag with food and put it on your front porch at 9 a.m. Saturday for the scouts and their helpers to pick up. Suggested foods for donation include canned goods, peanut butter, cereal, pancake and muffin mixes, crackers and cookies, instant soup, rice and beans, pasta, powdered juice or milk, dried fruit and snack bars.

If the Scouts miss your house, you can drop your donation at a local Bank of Alameda branch and the Scouts will get credit for the donation. Bank of Alameda branches are at Alameda Towne Centre, 2130 Otis Drive; 1416 Park Street; and 883-A Island Drive. The folks at Island Yoga are also taking collections; they’re at 911 Central Avenue. On Sunday, November 21, they’re offering classes in exchange for food and cash donations to the Alameda Food Bank (the schedule is on their website). And last but not least, the folks at Urban Island Home Furnishings are hosting a Clement Street Art & BB-Q Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. December 11. The fair will benefit the Alameda Food Bank and other organizations.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep you apprised of the food bank’s daily turkey count with the heat chart at the top of the page (we’re calling it the Turkey Ticker). Keep your eyes peeled on The Island for updates.

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