MANTECA — A donation by Foster Farms put a big dent in a food bank's need for holiday turkeys, but it will take thousands more to meet demand this Thanksgiving.
The Livingston-based poultry giant donated 1,200 turkeys Thursday to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which serves San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.
"I feel very refreshed that Foster Farms has stepped up to donate to the communities we serve," Second Harvest CEO Mike Mallory said. "This will be the spark that gets everything going."
The food bank still needs 3,940 turkeys to meet their goal of 4,500. Other agencies that assist the needy also report a greater need this year as resources dwindle.
Demand has risen while overall donations have fallen, according to a news release. Thanksgiving demand has increased 15 percent from 2010. Last year, officials said, 37 million people sought help from food banks. At the same time, cuts to federal nutrition programs have made food less available to such banks, making donations more important than ever.
"Costs are going up in these tough times and people that used to donate to us are now on the receiving end," Mallory said. "Hunger is 365 days a year; it doesn't take a holiday."
Donations may be taken to Second Harvest, 704 E. Industrial Park Drive, Manteca. For more information, contact Second Harvest at www.localfoodbank.org or (209) 239-2091.
Bee director of multimedia images Joan Barnett Lee can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2235.