Holiday food donations in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

A modern-day Shakespeare play is underway at the Warner's Theatre and all proceeds will benefit Toys For Tots which is one of several programs receiving fewer donations this holiday season.

Hundreds of volunteers spent Saturday morning packing up boxes of food at the Community Food Bank in southeast Fresno.

The meal boxes will feed about 40,000 Fresno, Madera and Kings County families throughout the holiday season. Still, donations this year are down by about 40 percent.

Program coordinators are trying to recruit additional volunteers as well as more food.

"I would say we are in need of thanksgiving meal ingredients, chicken, turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and the like," Leslie Gacad said

Across town, in Downtown Fresno, the Central Valley Sikh Community presented the Poverello House with a $20,000 check.

The money is enough to provide more than 28,000 meals for the homeless which makes up for a sluggish year in donations.

"This year, we've received less than 300 turkeys in the turkey season. Normally, we're at 1,000 turkeys by now. Yes, we have enough for Thanksgiving Day but we need enough to sustain us for the entire year," Kathryn Weakland said.

Meanwhile, in Clovis the police department partnered with Family Restoration Church to provide thanksgiving meals for 250 families. Next door, the Victory Tabernacle Community Church did the same for 260 people.

Both churches say fortunately, donations remained steady this year, which is good news for those lucky enough to receive a much needed helping hand.

"Times are really tough. I've been looking for a job for over a year, I can't find it. I've got my son and his two kids living with us so it really means a lot," Janet Lieberg said.

All of the places mentioned still need donations and volunteers leading up Christmas.

And ABC30 will hold its annual Toys For Tots marathon weekend. It starts Friday December 3 through Sunday Decemeber 5.

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