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Help! Salvation Army has just two turkeys to feed about 600 families

Beverly Storey, left, of the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank and volunteer Jamie McIntyre hold up one of two turkeys that have been donated to the center as of Tuesday. The Salvation Army needs about 600 turkeys before Monday to fill its Thanksgiving baskets.  - Tracey Compton/Renton Reporter
Beverly Storey, left, of the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank and volunteer Jamie McIntyre hold up one of two turkeys that have been donated to the center as of Tuesday. The Salvation Army needs about 600 turkeys before Monday to fill its Thanksgiving baskets.
— image credit: Tracey Compton/Renton Reporter

This time last year the warehouse shelves of the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank were practically full.

Now with less than a week to go before it hands out Thanksgiving meals, the food bank has collected just two turkeys. It has a list of about 600 families who are in need of a Thanksgiving dinner.

"We've had quite the increase (in families) without the same amount of donations," said Beverly Storey, social services director for the Salvation Army. "This time last year we had half of all the donations we needed."

The Salvation Army will begin collecting food for its Thanksgiving baskets on Thursday and continuing through Sunday at the downtown Renton Fred Meyer, 365 Renton Center Way S.W.

The Salvation Army will be collecting bagged items that Fred Meyer customers can purchase and then donate. Frozen turkeys are needed at either the Fred Meyer donation site or the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The food bank is at 206 S. Tobin St.

The Salvation Army has been signing up families for the past seven weeks. It has 443 families signed up, but anticipates handing out a Thanksgiving meal to close to 600 families.

Storey says she is not worried the Salvation Army will not meet its need, as they have always met it in the past.

"There is no Plan B," she said. "I know that people are going to step up."

Regardless whether the Salvation Army receives enough turkeys to fill the baskets, it will have the rest of the food stuffs, Storey said.

But, she remains confident that the Renton community will support their efforts to feed those who need a Thanksgiving meal.

The Salvation Army has reached out to local churches and New Life Church of Renton is one church that has agreed to do a food drive of their own in support of the organization.

"One thing that's great about the city of Renton is that they step up and always help," said Storey.

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