With Thanksgiving just three weeks away, Foster Farms has kicked off the first of eight donations of turkeys to food banks in California, Oregon and Washington, continuing its annual tradition to help address food insecurity on the West Coast. Foster Farms is donating a total of 67,000 pounds of turkey this holiday season, enough to serve more than 70,000 meals to people in need in California and the Pacific Northwest. The company is also supporting hunger relief efforts as the title sponsor of the Foster Farms Bowl in December, which partners with local food banks.

Food insecurity affects millions of West Coast families. In both California and Washington, roughly one in eight households do not have enough to eat at some point during the year. In Oregon, approximately one in six households–16 percent–are considered food insecure. Food banks cite protein as one of the most-needed foods and Foster Farms is working to provide greater access to lean protein.

“There are too many people in the communities we serve who go hungry,” said Foster Farms Director of Communications Ira Brill. “Helping those in need is a year-round priority for Foster Farms. We hope that our holiday donations will encourage other businesses and individuals to support these food banks and ultimately, the families they serve. Everyone deserves the comfort of a traditional Thanksgiving meal.”

Second Harvest Food Bank in Manteca is one of many food banks benefitting from the 67,000 pounds of turkey that Foster Farms will donate this holiday season. CEO Mike Mallory recently accepted an 11,000-pound turkey donation.

“We are grateful for the longtime support of Foster Farms,” said Mallory. “Every year, the company helps ensure that our local families can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Protein donations are so valuable and really essential to our ability to provide nutritious foods to the families who rely our services, especially around the holidays.”

In addition to its annual holiday turkey donations, Foster Farms works with the California Association of Food Banks year-round to provide California partner food banks with much-needed protein. The company is also a longtime supporter of the Food 4 Thought education program, which provides twice monthly groceries throughout the school year to 800 Central Valley elementary students in exchange for their work in after school programming. The program has reached more than 5,250 students with over 1.5 million pounds of groceries since 2009.

Foster Farms has elevated hunger relief efforts this year related to its sponsorship of the Foster Farms Bowl. The company will donate thousands of pounds of chicken to San Francisco charities GLIDE and St. Anthony’s for Christmas meals. Foster Farms also incorporated the cause into this year’s “Oh Say, Can You Sing?” youth national anthem contest, which will give one Bay Area or Central Valley individual or group the opportunity to sing at the bowl game. It will donate 100 meals to a local food bank for each contest entry received and the winner(s) will get to choose a local food bank to receive a donation of 1,000 meals in their name. Foster Farms will donate one meal to local hunger relief organizations for every Foster Farms Bowl ticket purchased. Tickets for the game, which will be played on Dec. 28 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, are available at www.FosterFarmsBowl.com.