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ATCAA Food Bank’s First Annual Turkey Drive

The ATCAA (Amador Tuolumne Community Acton Agency) Food Bank is holding its 1st Annual Turkey Drive Saturday, November 4th in front of the upper Savemart on Mono Way in Sonora from 8 AM to 5 PM. The public is encouraged to donate frozen turkeys or make monetary donations toward the purchase of turkeys needed to distribute to those less fortunate during the holiday season.

Deni Avery, ATTCA Food Bank Director, was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

To kick-off the Turkey Drive, Diestel Turkey Ranch has generously donated the first 100 turkeys and is offering to match every turkey donated between 11:00 AM and Noon, the day of the drive.

According to Avery, the holidays are time for families to gather together for a traditional holiday meal. However, for many families in Tuolumne County, the means to afford that meal doesn’t exist. As housing, fuel, prescription and other costs continue to soar, food budgets for retired and working class families are shrinking. To help those families, the ATCAA Food Bank wishes to provide turkeys, along with traditional holiday meal items, to the thousands of individuals and families needing assistance.

With a goal of receiving 1,800 donated turkeys, the Food Bank hopes to supply a turkey to any family struggling with hunger during the holidays. The Food Bank is asking the public to help meet some of that demand. By making a turkey donation (or $20 in lieu of a turkey), you are not only providing nourishment, but memories that will last a lifetime.

For more than 20 years, the Food Bank has distributed Food Baskets during the Holiday season, but the baskets have never included a turkey.

“This year, we want to give them a complete dinner,” says Avery. “Though federal funding to the Food Bank has been cut drastically, through the help of the Sonora Area Foundation, we were able to acquire a refrigerated truck. With the truck, we now have the ability to include turkeys.”

As part of Turkey Drive, the Food Bank is also asking local businesses for help by offering a friendly competition. Businesses are encouraged to call in their pledge to the Food Bank. Pledges will be posted at the Turkey Drive drop-off site. Pledges can be fulfilled on November 4th or by arrangement. To get involved, contact the Food Bank.

The ATCAA Food Bank relies on Federal funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) as well as donations and volunteers from the community. This year, Federal funding was cut in half.

“We are relying on the community more than ever before,” says Avery. “Our entire operation is now run by 3.5 staff members and thankfully, hundreds of volunteers. Though funding has been cut, the need continues to grow.

The Food Bank collects, warehouses, sorts and then distributes food to local pantries throughout the county, who in-turn, provide food to those in need. The Holiday Baskets are distributed directly to local families.

For more information about the Turkey Drive,the Holiday Basket and other food programs, volunteering, donating or even developing your own Food Drive on behalf of the Food Bank, call Avery at 209-984-3960, x104 or visit the Food Bank on the ATCAA website at atcaa.org/foodbank.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML