6,000 wait in 10-block line for Sacramento Food Bank free turkeys
Sacramento Bee: More than 6,000 people waited in winding lines up to 10 blocks Monday morning to get a free Thanksgiving turkey and canned food from the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services in OakPark.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Fredonia Phillips, 62, as she surveyed the long line stretching through the neighborhood. She had just picked up a 10-pound bird and two bags of side dishes, including canned vegetables, rice and boxes of mashed potatoes and stuffing.
Kelly Siefkin, a food bank spokesperson, said the food bank was giving away more than 6,300 turkeys donated by individuals, businesses and government agencies.
“We had people donating a turkey or two, we had soccer clubs, and baseball teams come and drop off turkeys, we had families coming after school with their children to donate turkeys,” Siefkin said. “We got 500 turkeys from the county probation department. We would get 30 to 40 turkeys from office parks or hotels. It was fantastic.”
This year’s total of 6,309 turkeys was slightly more than last year’s 6,023, but Wells Fargo donated 2,000 hams for distribution last year, pushing the donations to a total of 8,023, she said.
More than 100 volunteers, some of them from PG&E and AmeriCorps, worked to keep the line moving smoothly along sidewalks and across streets. Volunteers also helped translate, answer questions, bag and hand out food, and carry the groceries to vehicles.
“Everyone has been really appreciative,” Siefkin said of the people waiting in line. The distribution began at 8 a.m. and ran until all the turkeys were gone. If there were still people wanting a turkey, the food bank refers them to other agencies offering food for Thanksgiving.
Sacramento has an unemployment rate of 9.8% and is going to lose 300 jobs in the region due to the closure of Hostess. Over 57% in Sacramento County voted to re-elect Obama. Sadly, they will probably have more people lined up next year for free food as the implementation of Obamacare is going to cause a massive layoff bomb.