With Thanksgiving only a month away, The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is collecting food and monetary donations to provide community members in need with festive meals this holiday season. The organization will host a Turkey Drive for turkeys and chickens starting Monday, October 28, and hopes to reach a goal of 3,000 birds. Anyone can donate to the locations listed below or sponsor a meal online.
“While the Foodbank continues regular operations to meet the day-to-day needs of families and individuals facing hunger, we look to the community to step up to meet this particular demand by helping local families have the holiday meal they deserve,” stated Foodbank Director of Operations Paul Wilkins in a press release. Last year, the organization fed more than 190,000 people, including 77,000 children.
The Foodbank asks community members to drop off fresh or frozen birds by November 24 so families have them in time for Thanksgiving — however, donations will be accepted through December 15 for other holiday meals. Turkey Drive birds will be distributed to those in need via the Foodbank’s network of countywide nonprofit partners such as Catholic Charities, Good Samaritan Shelter, Unity Shoppe, and Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.
The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission in particular, which provides recovery services for the homeless and addicted, aims to gather 300 turkeys as well as an assortment of canned goods that will last through the season. The organization will use some of its inventory to host an annual Thanksgiving Feast on November 27, noon-2 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Mission’s recently renovated dining hall on East Yanonali Street. An estimated 300 warm meals with classic Thanksgiving foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, trimmings, and pie will be served at the event. Direct donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the 535 East Yanonali Street office.
“In my experience, holiday depression and despair are especially common for people who are homeless,” said Santa Barbara Rescue Mission President Rolf Geyling, “That’s why our Thanksgiving Feast can have such an impact. It shows people who’ve lost so much that there are still people in this community who care. And that they can change their lives.”
Turkey Drive Drop-Off Locations
Oct. 28 – Dec. 13, Mon.-Fri., 7am–3pm
4554 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara
490 West Foster Road, Santa Maria
American General Media
Wed., Nov. 20, 7am-6pm
2325 Skyway Dr., Ste. J, Santa Maria
Yardi Holiday Boutique
Fri., Nov. 22, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
430 South Fairview Ave., Goleta
Sun., Nov. 24, 8am–1pm
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1300 East Valley Rd.
All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal, 83 Eucalyptus Ln.
El Montecito Presbyterian, 1455 East Valley Rd.
Montecito Covenant, 671 Cold Spring Rd.
[Update: Oct. 29] Two additional drop-off dates have been added to the 2019 Turkey Drive as follows:
Family Day at Santa Barbara Warehouse
Sat., Nov. 9, 9-11 am
4554 Hollister Ave.
Wed., Nov. 20, 8:30-10am
6601 Hollister Ave.