Non-profits feeding needy families face turkey shortage

Two organizations in San Jose dedicated to providing food and resources to low-income families are facing a turkey shortage ahead of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Sacred Heart Community Service and the Second Harvest Food Bank are asking residents to donate turkeys and will each have their own respective events where residents can make donations, according to the two organizations.

The Second Harvest Food Bank is about 5,000 turkeys short of its goal of 19,000. The organization will hold an event today where people can drop off turkeys and monetary donations as well, according to food bank officials.

The event will be held at the food bank’s Curtner Center, located at 750 Curtner Ave., from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Currently, the food bank is about $1 million behind in donations, compared to the amount received around this time last year. The organization’s goal this year is to raise $15 million in donations and receive 2 million pounds of food, which will be distributed to families throughout the entire holiday season, according to the food bank.

The food bank serves both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and roughly 1 in 10 people in those counties rely on food from the organization, Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Kathy Jackson said.

According to Jackson, families are feeling pressure because of rising rents:

“Even though it appears that the economy has improved, rents are rising faster than people’s paychecks.”

Sacred Heart Community Service said it’s short by more than 3,000 turkeys. They’re having a series of events all week at their headquarters at 1381 S. First St.

There, residents can drop off turkeys through Wednesday, according to the organization.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Sacred Heart will hold a series of Thanksgiving Food Box Distribution events, where volunteers will help distribute food boxes to families in need. Each box contains fresh produce, canned goods and a turkey. The boxes are enough for about four meals, Sacred Heart spokeswoman Morgan Wordes said.

The three events are expected to draw in a total of about 4,200 families, Wordes said.

According to Wordes:

“About ten percent of the population in Santa Clara County is near the federal poverty line, so that’s why we do this.”