STOCKTON (CBS13) — More than 2,000 families in Stockton will now be able to have a warm meal this Thanksgiving.
Last week, the Emergency Food Bank was experiencing a turkey shortage and had to issue a last-minute plea for help.
Since the call went out to the community, donations have been pouring in by the carload, and it’s now allowing Stockton families to put food on the table this Thanksgiving.
“Lack of the money not coming in like it was supposed to,” said Teresa Sykes of Stockton for the reason why she waited in a long line on Monday morning.
Like many families, Sykes, 60, struggles to find extra cash to pay for food every month.
“You being in that situation, sometimes where you just get emotional and I just start crying. It’s not like you did anything wrong, it’s just you be in need some time, and you never know,” she said.
And she’s not alone.
More than 2,000 people lined up outside the food bank in Stockton. The organization provided free meals as part of its annual Thanksgiving food box giveaway.
“They are actually single family incomes who work, but still can’t afford you know a turkey dinner, or they are just struggling in general,” said Angela King with the Emergency Food Bank.
Last week, the food bank only had 30 turkeys to giveaway, but after an urgent call for donations. The community stepped up including CBS13 and Good Day Sacramento teaming up with Big Valley Ford. Together, more than 5,000 pounds of turkeys were collected for needy families.
“They just come out of the woodworks and it’s just crazy,” she said.
Businesses and service groups not only donated food and funds for this year’s giveaway but also provided manpower so families can get their turkey meals safely to their cars.
“I am thankful to be in a position to be able to help like this, and there is a lot of people out there, that just don’t have it, and it’s just great to be able to help,” said Ron Cutler, volunteer and member of the Stockton Host Lions Club.
Leaders with the food bank say natural disasters this year may have played a role in this year’s donation shortage. They are hosting a fundraiser for the agency on Thanksgiving.