Editor’s Note: Thanksgiving turkeys needed

Editor’s Note: Thanksgiving turkeys needed

Michele Ellson

A volunteer hands out holiday meals at the Alameda Food Bank warehouse in 2010. Photo by Michele Ellson.

The Alameda Food Bank has kicked off its annual turkey collection drive for the holidays at what promises to be yet another tough juncture for the Island’s poor and needy. Cuts to food stamp benefits went into effect on November 1.

As a result, a family of four – whose maximum benefits were $668 a month before the cuts – will see their monthly benefits drop by $36, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank. At $1.40 a meal, that’s a loss of 26 individual meals a month, according to Troy Gilbert, the food bank’s brand-new executive director.

In a letter published in The Alamedan today, Gilbert said the cuts were followed by an increase in the number of people seeking the food bank’s help.

“We are trying our best to prepare, although it is difficult,” he wrote of the cuts. “We serve nearly to capacity now.”

Last year the food bank served nearly 5,400 Alamedans, or about one in every 14 Island residents. Nine percent of the food bank’s customers are seniors, and nearly a third are children. The food bank typically seeks enough frozen turkeys and fixings to fill the holiday tables of more than 1,000 local families.

Gilbert said the food bank needs to collect 1,000 turkeys by Monday, November 25 – less than two weeks from today – to meet those holiday meal needs. While turkeys are its primary need right now, he said the food bank is also collecting non-perishable food to be distributed in holiday food bags throughout December.

“We welcome food contributions at any time,” Gilbert said. He said food barrels are also set up to accept donations at the Main Library, 1550 Oak Street, and the Alameda Marketplace, 1650 Park Street.

Anyone interested in contributing frozen turkeys can bring them to the Alameda Food Bank’s distribution center, at 1900 Thau Way, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through November 25.

Turkeys will be distributed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 26 at the food bank’s warehouse at 650 West Ranger Avenue on Alameda Point. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to food bank customers, one per household. A limited number of turkeys not handed out for Thanksgiving will be distributed on December 2 at the Thau Way address.

Additional information on the Alameda Food Bank and the services it provides, and on how you can contribute, is available on the food bank website, or by calling 523-5850. Meanwhile, The Alamedan will be providing updates on the food bank’s progress toward its collection goals.


Submitted by George Phillips (not verified) on Wed, Nov 13, 2013

Last year, my wife and I just looked for all the sales on frozen turkeys and were able to buy 5 or 6 at a very good price to drop off. Watch the sale ads at Safeway, Target, Walmart and Luckys. The gesture will brighten up you holiday.