by Brandon Mercer


SAN RAMON (CBS SF) — Thousands of frozen turkeys on a big-rig that overturned on a highway off-ramp in San Ramon early Wednesday morning will be donated to the Alameda County Food Bank, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

A Contra Costa County health inspector determined the 15,000 to 20,000 turkeys were still good and said they would be donated to the food bank, CHP Officer Kevin Bartlett said.

The accident was reported around 2:20 a.m. when the big-rig carrying about 23,000 pounds of turkeys overturned on the southbound Interstate Highway 680 off-ramp to Alcosta Boulevard, Bartlett said. A driver and passenger trapped inside the truck’s cab were rescued and transported to a hospital for minor injuries.

Fuel from the truck had to be off-loaded along with the frozen turkeys, causing extensive delays, CHP officials said.

The accident closed the off-ramp at 2:50 a.m. and it reopened around 10:30 a.m.

Michael Altfest, a spokesman at the food bank called it a bit of a “holiday miracle”.
Altfest said shortly after the accident they received a call asking if they’d like to have the butterball turkeys that were originally intended for a wholesale distributor set to deliver them to Costco.

“This is great. We’re heading into Thanksgiving two weeks away and have this nice windfall. It definitely seems like somebody’s looking out for us,” Altfest said.

The food bank’s 240 partnering soup kitchens, shelters, pantries and other charities will receive the frozen birds as a donation.

“This will make a very nice dent, but it’s not going to close the gap completely. There’s still a lot of need in the community,” Altfest said.

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