Annual turkey giveaway feeds hundreds of families in Overtown

MIAMI (WSVN) - Hundreds of families were treated to free turkeys, chickens and more thanks to efforts of several South Florida organizations.

Miami Police were behind an unexpected turkey giveaway in Overtown, Monday afternoon.

“The holidays are here, and the need is great,” said Miami Police Executive Officer James Bernat.

Police handed out donated turkeys and rotisserie chickens on Northwest Third Avenue and 14th Terrace alongside area pastors.

“There’s a lot of people in this community and other communities who really are struggling,” said Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes.

“It’s good for everybody to help everybody. Unity needs to come about in life,” said turkey recipient James William.

Some drivers first thought they were in trouble but left with a big smile. “It was a nice stop!” said a woman as she left with her free turkey. “Thank y’all. Have a blessed day.”

Nearby was another holiday giveaway.

Families lined up at Dorsey Park in Miami, for the annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway at Dorsey Park.

More than 500 families that live in Overtown have been given the chance to receive a turkey for Thanksgiving, along with other non-perishable items. The line stretched along Northwest 17th Street, Monday morning, and some lined up as early as 7:30 a.m.

The Overtown Neighborhood Advancement Team hosted the giveaway alongside Brightline, who served as a sponsor.

“I think it’s a blessing because everybody is not as fortunate,” said turkey recipient Laquisha Wright.

Recipients were ecstatic to receive food to fill their tables this Thanksgiving. “Turkey, ham, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, dressing,” said recipient Laquisha Wright as she smiled and laughed. “All that good stuff! Potato pie, sweet potato pie.”

“Oh, it’s wonderful – wonderful,” said another recipient, James Wallace. “Miami’s one of the greatest cities you can live in in the nation.”

Brightline spokeswoman Ali Soule described the day of giving. “Being part of the community and giving back is essential for us,” she said. “It’s important to see all of these folks out here who are really excited to have this opportunity to get a delicious meal and to provide and have a happy, healthy holiday.”

The Miami Dolphins were also in the giving spirit. At the team’s training facility in Davie, 500 Thanksgiving meals from Publix were handed out to area families.

The event was made possible through donations from players, coaching staff and Hyundai.

“We got to give back to the community. The community supports us through good and bad,” said Dolphins player Mike Pouncey.

“I’m thankful and grateful to God that they’re able to feed us this Thanksgiving,” said recipient Nidia Amador.

Communities can expect even more giveaways leading up to Thanksgiving.

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