Manna Needs 600 Turkeys and All the Trimmings to Keep Their Promise: Giving Thanksgiving Dinners to Needy Families

By Nancy Needham (

Manna Food Bank has given out 600 vouchers, 75 more than last year, to needy Conejo Valley families promising them turkey dinners with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving. Now, they wait and hope the turkeys, boxed dressing mixes and dehydrated mashed potatoes are donated along with canned items such as chicken broth, creamed soups, cranberry sauce, french fried onions, yams, pumpkin, gravy and green beans. Fresh rolls and pies of any kind would also be wonderful. The vouchers have pick-up times on them. "We'll be handing out 10 turkeys every 15 minutes," Manna executive director Mike Mathews says with unequivocal faith. He's hoping grocery store sales, especially the 2 for 1 turkeys will contribute to people's generosity for their neighbors who are suffering in bad economic times. Manna, 3020 Crescent Way, can be contacted at 805.497.4959 or

The food bank has helped low-income families from Camarillo to Calabasas since 1971. It stays open only because of caring people in the Conejo Valley.  With money donations Manna purchases eggs, margarine, chicken and ground beef. They accept anything that is purchased in a grocery store including personal care items as well as food. Some residents bring in food from their gardens and fruit trees. They try to keep their shelves full, but have a steady stream of hungry families asking for help.

Mailing address: Manna of the Conejo Valley, PO Box 1114, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358.