Berkeley police and community volunteers gathered at Old City Hall this morning to assemble food baskets as part of the city's 26th annual Turkey Ride tradition, the Berkeley Police Department said.
Members of the city Police Department, Berkeley Boosters Association, and University of California Police Department met at 6 a.m. to assemble 250 food baskets, police said.
Each basket contained a turkey, fresh produce, and enough canned and packaged food to feed about eight people. They were handed out by uniformed Berkeley police and parking officers.
Twenty Berkeley and UC police officers raised about $8,000 for the food baskets earlier this year when they rode more than 200 miles in three days on their bikes, police said.
Additional monetary and in-kind donations were provided by Safeway, which donates most of the turkey, and the Berkeley Rotary Club, Greenleaf Produce, and Alameda County Food Bank.
The Turkey Ride was conceived in 1983 when three Berkeley police officer rode their bikes from Berkeley to South Lake Tahoe.
The riders decided to turn future rides into fundraising events and use the money to help Berkeley families.
An additional 250 food baskets will be assembled and distributed before the December holidays.
Old City Hall, rededicated in 2007 as the Maudelle Shirek Building, is located at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.