Poverello House hoping to serve more turkey to hungry families this year

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Poverello House in downtown Fresno kicked off their annual turkey drive Monday, to raise awareness on the need to feed hungry families in the Valley.

This new poster going up at the Poverello House outlines the goal the local organization wants to meet, and exceed, this holiday season. Monday morning staff members kicked off the annual turkey drive to help provide meals for those who are in need. "We're starting to see a lot more families this year coming to the Poverello House. Last year's number was a little bit lower than this year, but we're increasing the number because of the families that we're starting to see-- families of 11, families of nine," said Cruz Avila, Poverello House executive director.

The goal for the turkey drive is to collect at least 2,000 turkeys this year. Last year just over 1,200 turkeys were donated. This year the Poverello House is counting on help from Fresno State marketing students to bring in more donations. "They're also giving their time to the Poverello House and that goes a long way for the community And students themselves, and they are able to experience what the huge need is for the families we're serving here on a day to day basis," Avila explained.

Students are busy brainstorming on how they can spread the word for donations-- such as using Facebook or Instagram. "We also did different commercial storyboards and things that allow us to try to influence people who may not always want to donate, or, not to think it is just something that they put on the back of their mind but to actually get them out and go and do it," said Nick Oakley, Fresno State student.

The Poverello House hopes the donations continue after the holiday season.

They serve turkey three times a week. The food service director says that's 10 turkeys for each meal and they will need at least 1,200 turkeys a year to continue. "Everything we get over here is donations. We don't purchase any meat or anything. Without it, we would be in trouble," said Tito Olazabal, Poverello House food service director.

The turkey drive continues through the end of November, but donations are accepted any time of the year.
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