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Thousands cram Thanksgiving meal giveaway at Stockton food bank

Thanksgiving

A Stockton food bank scrambled to meet demand Tuesday when about 2,000 more people than expected turned up for a Thanksgiving meal giveaway.

The Stockton Emergency Food Bank had expected about 2,000 clients, but by mid-morning, that total was well on its way to surpassing 4,000, organizers said. The sheer volume of people shocked pantry workers.

"It is unbelievable. I’ve never seen so many people. The need is so big," Becky Knodt, executive director of the food bank, told Fox 40.

Many of the people who showed up with carts and strollers to carry the food waited in line for hours, with some lining up at 10 a.m. the day before, Knodt said.

"I’ve never seen that before," she said.

In addition to a turkey and all the fixings for a typical Thanksgiving Day meal, clients also got bags of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as juices and other items to prepare food for days after the holiday.

“The need is tremendous this year," Knodt said.

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jason.wells@latimes.com

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