Tons of turkeys with all of the fixings were handed out to residents in need Monday in Oak Park.
The annual turkey distribution started early at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Those who needed help with their Thursday meal were lined up at dawn, forming lines that wound around the block.
From 8 a.m. to noon, 5,000 families were given holiday meals, said Kelly Siefkin, communications and marketing director for the food bank. Volunteers served about 1,200 families per hour compared with an average of about 1,000 per hour in prior years.
“It went very smoothly, and the beautiful weather was an added bonus,” Siefkin said.
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Each household received one turkey, either fresh or frozen, in a tote bag. They also were given two bags of side dishes, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, rice, beans, canned vegetables, soup, gravy, pasta and fruit.
Volunteers, including those from Pacific Gas & Electric, helped distribute the donated big birds.
In addition to the annual giveaway Monday, the food bank will distribute turkeys to food pantries, food closets, shelters and other food programs in Sacramento County. Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is now the main food bank in the county due to a recent merger with Senior Gleaners.
The Bee’s Hudson Sangree contributed to this report.