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Donations collected from Turkey Drive already being distributed into the community

Turkey Drive agency pick up
Harvest Church volunteer Julie Hilton picks up turkeys collected through the NewsChannel 12 Turkey Drive in preparation for distributing them to community members in need. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Donations collected during the recently held NewsChannel 12 Turkey Drive are already being distributed to community members in need.

On Tuesday during the final day of the Turkey Drive, community members donated more than 700 turkeys.

Donations collected benefit clients with Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Barbara County and SLO Food Bank in San Luis Obispo County.

"All of the turkeys we accepted Tuesday, those are immediately going out the door," said Branna Still, SLO Food Bank Director of Development. "They already had locations set for them and we're wrapping up the last of those distributions on Monday."

Still added many turkeys were purchased in advance of the Turkey Drive and have been distributed even before the final day of the fundraiser.

"We have been distributing those so people can make their planning and timelines for the holiday," said Still.

On Thursday, several agency partners of SLO Food Bank are receiving turkey and other food items to take back for their own distributions.

Harvest Church in Arroyo Grande received seven boxes of turkeys and were distributing those to people in need in Oceano and Guadalupe immediately after picking those up in the morning.

"I think it's huge because the price of meat and turkeys this year is really high due to everything that is going on and a lot of families just can't afford to purchase a turkey," said Harvest Church volunteer Julie Hilton. "It's just incredible. It's awesome to be able to support those families that need a little extra support."

Over the past four weeks, an online fundraising campaign was held. Financial donations collected through the virtual platform have soared to a record-breaking amount.

The preliminary total is more than $55,000. A final total, which is expected to surpass $60,000 will be determined over the next few days.

Online donations to the NewsChannel 12 Turkey Drive are still being accepted through today. Thursday marks the final day donations can be made for the 2021 fundraiser.

To donate, please click here.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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