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Dental practice donates 250 turkeys for needy Santa Barbara County families

Dental practice donates 250 turkeys for needy Santa Barbara County families


After hearing about the dire need for turkeys to feed needy families in county, employees at a Central Coast dental practice stepped up to donate 250 turkeys to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.  

On Thursday, employees of Cali-Dental purchased $3,000 worth of turkeys from Costco in Santa Maria and loaded them onto a Foodbank box truck. 

The dental practice is based in San Luis Obispo and recently opened a Lompoc clinic. 

“They had planned to host a grand opening event in January at their new Lompoc office,” said Judith Smith-Meyer, marketing manager for the Foodbank. “But after hearing about the need for turkeys, they decided to forgo a party and instead provide turkeys to advance their mission of building a healthy community. We’re super grateful to them.” 

Earlier this week, the Foodbank reported it was lagging on reaching its goal of collecting 3,000 turkeys and chickens by Friday. 

“We’re at almost 1,000 turkeys now,” Smith-Meyer said. “Cali-Dental’s 250 turkeys brought us up to 980, and while I was at the Santa Maria warehouse today nine more came in.”

The nonprofit also has collected 1,627 chickens.

“We’re totally homing in on 3,000 birds — about 350 more to go,” Smith-Meyer said. 

On Friday, the Foodbank continued to collect turkeys at its warehouse near Santa Maria, located at 490 Foster Road.

In place of dropping off fresh or frozen birds, donors can sponsor holiday meals online by visiting

The Foodbank partners with more than 300 organizations to distribute birds throughout the county and needed to have them donated by Friday to ensure there is time to transport the birds to Foodbank partners so they can reach families by Thanksgiving Day.

The turkey drive will continue until mid-December, however, for other holiday meals.

Turkey distribution events will be held: 

  • Monday at 3 p.m. at the the Golden Inn and Village, 890 N. Refugio Road, Santa Ynez
  • Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Community Center, 313 W. Tunnell St., Santa Maria  

The distributions do not require any preregistration or paperwork, Smith-Meyer said. 

“You just need to tell them you're in need and the size of your household,” she said.

Razi Syed covers Santa Maria City Government for Lee Central Coast Newspapers.  Follow him on Twitter @razisyed


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City Government

Razi Syed covers city government for the Santa Maria Times. He is a graduate of Fresno State University and New York University.

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