PISMO BEACH, Calif. -- There's a new way to contribute to the annual KCOY NewsChannel 12 Turkey Drive.
Donations can be made by purchasing "Turkey Bucks" at participating California Fresh Markets and Grocery Outlet Bargain Markets.
Turkey Bucks can be bought in any monetary amount at the checkout line.
Once purchased, donors can then write a name or message on the Turkey Buck, which will then be posted and displayed in the store.
"It's going amazing," said DJ Deutsch, General Manager of California Fresh Market in Pismo Beach. "We can't ask for a better response from the community. They have been very supportive of it. They know that it's kind of a little bit different this year, but they fully understand that there's a lot of people out there in need, and they're just so happy to help out."
Since the promotion started two weeks ago, the Pismo Beach California Fresh Market has sold hundreds of individual Turkey Bucks, totalling several thousand dollars.
"From day one when we started offering out the Turkey Bucks, there's been way more yeses than no's," said Deutsch. "When we ask, do you want to help out and donate to the SLO Food Bank, almost without pause, they say absolutely. It's been great."
Turkey Bucks purchased in San Luis Obispo County will benefit SLO Food Bank, while those in Santa Barbara County go towards Good Samaritan Shelter.
Both markets have help support the KCOY NewsChannel 12 Turkey Drive in the past.
The California Fresh Market in Pismo Beach has also hosted a collection site for many years, while the Lompoc Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has been a donation location the past two years.
"It's just so great to be part of the community," said Deutsch. "We're local. We all live here. Our owners live here. It's just great to be able to give back a little bit and be a place where people know they can come and support the community."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the Turkey Drive efforts this year are being directed towards an online fundraising campaign.
Donations can also be made by phone by testing @KCOY TURKEY to 52014.
Good Samaritan will also hold an in-person turkey collection at Stowasser Buick GMC in Santa Maria on the final day of the Turkey Drive on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, or to donate, visit the KCOY NewsChannel 12 Turkey Drive webpage.