Call it a turkey roundup.
Valley groups are pulling together to help the hungry this holiday season.
Numerous food banks throughout the Valley are leading efforts this time of year to fill their shelves or fill the ovens of those in need with turkeys. Available stock often drops when everyone is preparing to head out-of-town or are just caught up in hustle and bustle of the season.
Food and turkey drive roundup:
• St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance is collecting cash and turkeys 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at The Stockyards Restaurant, 5009 E. Washington St., Phoenix. The Stockyards Restaurant, Valley of the Sun United Way, Rock Springs Pies, The Celebrity Theater and the Arizona Centennial Chopper will sponsor the drive.
People who donate a turkey can purchase Rock Springs Thanksgiving pies at a discounted price. Attendees can enter a drawing to win the historic motorcycle. Cash donations can be made anytime during the event. Turkey donations will be accepted starting at 2 p.m.
• United Food Bank is collecting frozen turkeys and nonperishable holiday fixings until Thanksgiving at 245 S, Nina Drive in Mesa . Right now turkey donations are slowing trickling in. United Food Bank is worried many families will be left empty-handed.
"We know that the economy is affecting everyone right now and for many, putting a Thanksgiving dinner on your own table is putting a strain on your budget, let alone donating one," said Bob Evans, President and CEO at United Food Bank, "But if everyone pitches in something - whether it's a dollar, a turkey, or some nonperishable food - we can feed more people this Thanksgiving."
Donations will be accepted 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
There are also off-site turkey drive locations. A United Food Bank refrigerated truck will be on hand 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Gilbert Days Parade and Expo and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at a benefit concert at Mesa's Superstition Springs Center.
Visit www.unitedfoodbank.org to see a complete list of off-site turkey drive locations.
• Lee Lee International Supermarket is hosting a holiday food drive at all three Arizona locations until Tuesday to benefit two Arizona food banks.
Lee Lee customers are encouraged to drop off nonperishable items 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in designated bins at each store, including one in Chandler, 2025 N. Dobson Road. Donations from the Chandler location will go to the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix, which is most in need of beans (canned or dried), canned fruit and vegetables, canned soups, stews, chili and pasta, cereal, diapers, juice, peanut butter, rice and tuna (canned or vacuum packed).
For more information, visit www.LeeLeeSupermarket.com.
• The Real Gift Foundation's 12th annual Thanksgiving Dinner Drive is taking place now. If they meet their fundraising goals, foundation staff, volunteers and teachers will deliver 3,650 pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinners to homeless children (and their families) who attend more than 70 public schools throughout Maricopa County, including students in Tempe. In order to deliver the dinners, The Real Gift Foundation needs to raise more than $80,000. Just $25 dollars will feed a family of six. To donate, visit www.therealgift.org or call (602) 482-5800.
"This year has been particularly challenging, given the state of the economy. The number of people in need is greater than ever and donations to all charities are down significantly," said Conde Rogers, president of The Real Gift Foundation. "It all happens with one
person at a time and the we know the people in Phoenix have huge hearts!"