Valley Food Banks in Need of Donations

November 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Like many Valley families ... local food banks and food pantries are having to do more with less this holiday season. The Thanksgiving holiday seems to be taken care of but there are many needs to fill before Christmas.Vans and trucks have been lined up behind the Community Food Bank every day collecting meal boxes. Each box contains enough food for Thanksgiving ... plus a few extra days. Jess Casteneda and his gang are piling 120 meal boxes for needy families in Selma.

Jess Casteneda said, "These guys here are all volunteers. We have coffee together every morning and I asked them if they would help and they said, 'yeah."

The need for meal boxes from the Community Food Bank has more than doubled this year. The goal was to prepare 10-thousand meal boxes for Thanksgiving and Christmas ... but the Food Bank's Dana Wilke says the demand is so high ... 10-thousand boxes are going out just for Thanksgiving.

Community Food Bank CEO Dana Wilke said, "It's just crazy ... we're seeing so many individuals and families who've never needed the food bank before."

There are more hungry mouths to feed at the Poverello House in Downtown Fresno this year too. The staff is currently serving 13-hundred meals a day. Turkeys are a staple at the Poverello House. It's an inexpensive way to feed a lot of people ... they go through as many of 40 turkeys every week. The turkeys are already in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner ... but the freezers will soon be bare.

The Poverello House's Kathryn Weakland said, "You know, we were kind of holding our own and then last week our kitchen director said, "Kathryn, we have less than 300 turkeys ... compared to last year ... we had 900 at this time last year."

The Poverello House collects all of the turkeys it needs for the year around the holidays because the price per pound is less expensive then. But with the current economy they're hoping for a Christmas miracle.

Money for turkeys can be donated directly to the Poverello House or Tuesday November 24th at the Fresno State Farm Market. The Community Food Bank will take canned goods or monetary donations.

Poverello House
559-498-6988

Community Food Bank
559-237-3663


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