Gobble Up the Changes for 2020- The Annual Turkey Drive to Pivot

The holidays can be a stressful time of year, especially for friends and neighbours who have challenges accessing good nutritious food. That is why Food for Life puts turkeys on the dinner table of local families every December along with all the good food to accompany it. Called the annual Turkey Drive, we are proud to partner with local Fortinos stores to help bring holiday meals to those who need them.

Started nearly a decade ago, the Turkey Drive had humble beginnings, spanning one day and delivering approximately 500 turkeys. Growing considerably in size, it now takes place over an entire weekend and provides 2000 turkeys to people in Halton, Hamilton and beyond.

So how does a Turkey Drive work? Traditionally, you’ll find our volunteers, in the meat department of Fortinos stores across the region, urging local residents to add a turkey to their shopping cart to donate to Food for Life. You might even spot one of those volunteers dressed like a turkey. Our drivers then circulate from store to store, and our distribution planning begins so we can provide turkeys to as many families and agencies as possible.

“By September, we start getting requests in,” says Melissa Bain, Director of Operations at Food for Life. “We know that the neighbours we’re serving look forward to it.”

A simple in-store campaign, the Turkey Drive is a meaningful way for members of the Halton community to support Food for Life’s mission while having a meaningful impact during the holiday season. Considering COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Turkey Drive will look different this year; however, we’re just as committed to providing good nutritious food to friends and neighbours who need it.

“This year, we’re doing a Turkey Drive pivot,” says Graham Hill, Food for Life’s Executive Director. “You won’t see our hundreds of volunteers that make this event so special.” He adds that to ensure everyone has turkey this holiday season, turkey breasts will also be sent out with holiday boxes that provide friends and neighbours with all the fixings for a holiday meal. “We don’t want anyone to miss out because of COVID-19,”

Graham Hill

“This year, we’re doing a Turkey Drive pivot,” says Graham Hill, Food for Life’s Executive Director. “You won’t see our hundreds of volunteers that make this event so special.” He adds that to ensure everyone has turkey this holiday season, turkey breasts will also be sent out with holiday boxes that provide friends and neighbours with all the fixings for a holiday meal. “We don’t want anyone to miss out because of COVID-19,” he says.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Food for Life has seen a 30 percent increase in people reaching out for food support. We know the holidays are an especially difficult time for those struggling to get food on the table.

“We have some neighbours who use the Turkey Drive program every year and then, for others, it’s just a one-off to help with an immediate or temporary situation,” says Bain. “I can only imagine this year there’s going to be an even greater need in terms of food assistance,” she says.

Tune in to our social media channels to hear more about the annual Turkey Drive in the coming weeks. You can also support Food for Life anytime by donating on our website. $1 helps provide 4 meals.

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