PASO ROBLES, Calif. -- For 35 years, Loaves & Fishes has played an important role for people in need throughout Northern San Luis Obispo County.
"Loaves and Fishes is a food pantry that meets the need of anybody that comes in for help," said Maria Madrid Sabi, Loaves & Fishes Executive Director. "People range from homeless all the way to dual income families."
The non-profit organization is one of about 80 partner agencies with the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County.
"Right now we're actually seeing an increase in the number of people that are seeking help from the different pantries," said Suzie Freeman, Food Bank Partner Services Manager. "Often times pantries are the first time you begin to see an increase due to financial struggles on a larger scale."
Many Loaves & Fishes clients will directly benefit from this week's KCOY Turkey Drive.
"By a providing a turkey or financial donation, you're able to provide every family with the hope and dignity that comes a Thanksgiving meal," Freeman said. "Without the support of the community there would be a lot of families going with a very sparse table this Thanksgiving and no one deserves that."
About 250 clients are expected to receive a Thanksgiving basket from Loaves & Fishes.
"We provide a Thanksgiving basket for families that come in and sign up for that basket," said Madrid Sabi. "That basket is a big turkey they can cook and everything that goes with it, including apple pie and butter and all the goodness of a meal that they can go home and prepare for their families."
Scott Silveira is a Loaves & Fishes client. He said he's excited about receiving a basket this year.
"It really means a lot because you know you're going to have a nice good Thanksgiving dinner just like everyone else," said Silveira. "It just feels really good to have a nice big turkey to cook in your oven and have some family come over and enjoy it with you."
The North County resident said he comes to the food pantry on Spring Street twice a month.
"They keep raising my rent and after I pay all my rent and utility bills and everything, I barely have enough to buy groceries, so I come here," said Silveira. "If I didn't come here, I wouldn't be eating very good at all. I would be using every penny I have at the grocery store."
He added he's grateful for the volunteers and the help they provide.
"It's really nice," said Silveira. "They always have bread and good stuff. They give you meat sometimes when they have it and cheese and high quality things for your health."
Silveira said he's very appreciative for the support Loaves & Fishes receives from throughout the community.
"Their donations are for a good cause," said Silveria. It's not just for anybody. It's for people that pay rent and bills and work and even people that don't, I think it helps the community and people are very grateful for it."
The KCOY Turkey Drive is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There will have several donation drop-off locations, including:
*KCOY studios in Santa Maria
*Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Lompoc
*California Fresh Market in Pismo Beach
*Food Bank Coalition of SLO County in San Luis Obispo
*Vons in San Luis Obispo
*Vons in Atascadero
For more information, visit the KCOY Turkey Drive website