Fighting Food Insecurity this Thanksgiving

I can almost smell the turkey in the oven and the gravy on the stove! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone is gearing up for the holiday season. While many of us do not have to worry about putting a Thanksgiving dinner on the table, many people in our community who are facing food insecurity do not know how to feed their families. During the season of giving, we can do so much as a community to fight food insecurity. If everyone lends a helping hand, we can feed more families and make Thanksgiving dinners possible for everyone. Let’s spread the thanks and spread the stuffing!

Here are ways you can support our community during this time of the year.

Food Drives

Donating to food drives is a quick and easy way to make a big difference. Food drives are especially important around the holiday season. Many families face a huge economic burden, and stress related to food insecurity can get in the way of enjoying the holidays. Here are some Thanksgiving items you can drop off at our warehouse at 1180 Kendall in San Luis Obispo.


  • Box stuffing
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • Canned gravy
  • Canned green beans, corn, peas
  • Canned yams
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Cornbread mix
  • Canned soups
  • Canned evaporated milk


Volunteer with GleanSLO this season and rescue fresh produce from local farms, gardens, backyards, and farmers markets. This takes just two hours out of your week but offers you a chance to harvest some fresh apples so a family can make a beautiful apple pie for their Thanksgiving table. Apple gleans are super popular during this season and so much fun!

Food Distributions

Volunteer with us at our monthly neighborhood food distributions throughout the community. We ensure that everyone in the county has access to nutritious food. Especially during the holiday season, food distributions become more and more important, and we need all hands on deck!



Get involved in these annual events to join us in the fight against food insecurity this holiday season.

Season of Hope – This is our biggest food drive event of the year. We team up with KSBY to contribute to the largest community-wide food and toy drive on the Central Coast! We collect food from over 60 locations throughout the county and bring it back to our warehouse to be distributed to our different distribution sites. You can donate to Season of Hope all season long, from October 11th to the week before Christmas. The best part is, you do not even have to leave your home or go out and buy anything! Simply make a monetary donation online. If you happen to have food that you are not going to use and want to donate, or if you want to donate some toys, you can find toy and food drive drop-off locations here. Let’s fill the season with hope and full bellies!

Turkey Drive – This annual event offers an excellent way to give back this holiday season. Every year, we participate in the Turkey Drive presented by NewsChannel 12 that benefits both the SLO Food Bank as well as Good Samaritan Shelter. You can make monetary donations online. Another way to participate in the Turkey Drive is purchasing a “Turkey Buck” at the check-out line at one of our participating grocery stores. Write your name on it and see all the Turkey Bucks displayed throughout the store! Lastly, you can donate a frozen turkey to the SLO Food Bank Warehouse or another designated drop-off location. Turkey drive runs up to November 16th, so give back today by doing your part to put a warm Thanksgiving turkey on another family’s table. Together, we can reach so many! Visit our event page for participating grocery stores and drop-off locations.

 Turkey Trot – Mark your calendars for our annual Turkey Trot! Take some time out of your Thanksgiving morning to gather together and raise awareness about food insecurity in our community. This is a great opportunity to be thankful for how lucky we are to be able to put a Thanksgiving meal on our tables and recognize the people who might not be able to afford a holiday meal. You can participate in the Turkey Trot in person or virtually! The in-person Turkey Trot is a 2-mile walk that begins at the Avila Beach Promenade and continues along the Bob Jones Trail. The virtual trot can be a walk, run, or hike with whomever you please and wherever you choose! You can participate by registering for the event, fundraising on your own or with a team, or by making monetary donations online on our event page. Not interested in walking? That’s okay! You can still fundraise without participating in the event. There are prizes for fundraising and social media raffles.

Last Words…

In the spirit of being thankful, don’t forget to remind yourself of the things that you are lucky to have. Remember that not everyone has easy access to basic necessities such as food. As a community, we can come together during this holiday season and help fight hunger in our neighborhoods. If everyone makes even the smallest effort to contribute to the fight against food insecurity, we can accomplish beyond what we imagine.

– By Sydney Navarro, Dietetic Intern, Cal Poly SLO