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 Oak Park.
"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.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Anne Gonzales
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.