Holiday turkey drive starts Friday

Holiday turkey drive starts Friday

Michele Ellson

Contributed photo.

With the holidays approaching, the Alameda Food Bank and local Scouts are beginning preparations to assist needy Island families. The food bank kicks off its annual turkey drive on Friday, while the Scouts’ Scouting for Food collection effort is set for November 15.

The food bank is seeking to collect 1,000 turkeys and the holiday table fixings to go with them to distribute during the holiday season. The Scouts and their helpers, meanwhile, will collect canned and nonperishable food off donors’ doorsteps.

"November and December are the busiest times of the year at the food bank. In order to keep up with the demand, community food and financial donations are critical," said the food bank's executive director, Troy Gilbert. "It's a great time for Alamedans wanting to give back to really channel that energy at the holidays."

Demand for the food bank's services rose 34 percent between 2007 and 2013, Gilbert said; the food bank serves one in every 15 Alameda households. Thirty percent of its clients are children, and another 10 percent are seniors.

The food bank has conducted the turkey drive since 2004.

In addition to turkeys, the food bank is seeking boxed stuffing mix, canned black olives, canned gravy, cake mix, corn bread muffin mix, instant potatoes, canned yams and condensed milk. Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays through November 24 at the food bank, which is at 1900 Thau Way.

Businesses seeking to make large contributions can call the food bank at 523-5850 to arrange to have them picked up. The food bank is also taking cash contributions, which can be mailed, to P.O. Box 2167, Alameda, Calif., 94501; or made online on the food bank’s website.

The Scouts, meanwhile, will advertise their food drive by way of door hangers and grocery bags donors can use to participate in the drive. Residents who wish to participate in the drive are asked to leave donations on their porch between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. on November 15. Youths from Alameda’s Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venturers and their adult assistants will pick up the donations between 9 a.m. and noon.

Last year, the Scouts collected 17,000 pounds of food for the food bank, which was boxed by volunteers from a list of community organizations distributed to 2,200 Alameda families.

More information about Scouting for Food is available by calling the food bank or the Alameda Council of the Boy Scouts of America, at 522-2772.