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Thanks to a last-minute outpouring of support from various individuals bringing in a few Thanksgiving turkeys at a time, the Orange County Food Bank has collected 1,100 birds for needy families, it was announced Wednesday.
However, that’s a far cry from the 7,000 turkeys the agency received last year, thanks to two major donors who did not make a contribution this time around, said Mark Lowry, the food bank’s executive director.
The nonprofit last year took in $87,500 to buy the 7,000 turkeys and other fixings for Thanksgiving meals for the area’s indigent last year, Lowry said. That money came from the two longstanding donors, he noted.
One of the families decided to turn over the reins of their charitable foundation to their children, who have decided to focus on other causes, Lowry said. The other donor made a contribution earlier in the year for the agency’s 50th anniversary, but it was earmarked for other needs, not the turkeys, Lowry said.
The nonprofit put out the word Monday that it had zero dollars and turkeys, leading to an outpouring from individuals, Lowry said.
“We were in very grim shape as of Monday,” he said.
Following publicity about the problem, “individuals have been coming in bringing two, three, seven, or eight turkeys and people are donating online,” Lowry said.
Lowry encouraged the community to keep it coming because the turkeys can be saved to help needy families for Christmas.
“Anything we get by 3 p.m. today will get to people today, but anything after will still go to needy families for throughout the holiday season,” Lowry said. “Once we clear these out, we’re back to zero again.”
Donations can be made through the nonprofit’s website at www.ocfoodbank.org, or by dropping by the agency at 11870 Monarch St. in Garden Grove.
—Staff and wire reports
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