South Florida community donates turkeys, more to families in need

MIAMI (WSVN) - Thanksgiving is around the corner, so organizations and residents across South Florida are giving back to the community to make sure families have a happy – and delicious – holiday.

Many people were still in line at Marlins Park to grab a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, Friday evening.

That same holiday spirit was felt throughout South Florida. Hundreds lined up at Reeves Park in the Overtown neighborhood, Friday morning, to receive free turkeys sponsored by Miami City Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, the Overtown Neighborhood Enhancement Team and Brightline.

By the end of the event, over 500 turkeys were given away to very happy South Floridians – some of whom even waited in line for over an hour.

“Early this morning I had to be here for the turkeys,” said Overtown resident B. Wilson. “This is my day, and I’m trying to enjoy it to the fullest, baby!”

Other essentials Brightline also provided in addition to the turkeys were sweet potatoes, corn, collard greens, biscuit mix and spices.

“I am thankful for them providing the turkeys, and my Thanksgiving dinner,” said another woman.

“People need an opportunity to provide their families with good food,” Hardemon said, “so anytime you can help them do that is special.”

And the Thanksgiving events didn’t stop there.

City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez gave out turkeys and shared his love for the community. “It’s what Thanksgiving is about,” he said. “Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, but it’s also about making people happy and enjoying all these blessings that we have.”

Whole Foods markets across Miami-Dade and Broward counties partnered with the Miami Rescue Mission for their first annual “Fill Up the Mayflower” event.

Their goal is to fill up semi trucks with Thanksgiving food items donated by members of the community, that will be distributed to those in need this holiday season. “We’re gonna try to fill up this moving van with non-perishables to feed the homeless, the hungry, all of South Florida,” said Whole Foods shopper Diane Della-Pietra.

“I hope, by the end of the day, you have this truck filled,” said a woman who participated.

Several radio stations were also broadcasting all day at these Whole Foods locations asking listeners to donate turkeys, frozen pies and even canned goods.

“The hunger still exists here, and I want to be sure I do things for the people that are still hungry,” said another woman who donated to the cause.

As a reward for the good deed, Whole Foods is distributing $5 coupons to those who donate, Friday.

More than 1,000 people lined up at Marlins Park for the eighth annual Thanksgiving distribution.

Mayor Tomás Regalado told 7News that supporting the people is what this season is all about. “Some of these people won’t be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner if it weren’t for this afternoon,” he said, “so this is a good day for Miami.”

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