Hundreds line up for free Thanksgiving turkeys

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hundreds of vehicles were in line for a free turkey giveaway Thursday through With God’s Grace food pantry.

“We’re giving away a thousand turkeys to the local community,” said Nicole Atkins, executive director of With God’s Grace. “This is really a blessing for us to be able to do this … so many of our families are having such a hard time dealing with this pandemic.”

The parking lot of a former Kroger store on Needmore Road in Harrison Twp. already was full ahead of the 2:30 p.m. start for the giveaway, with vehicles still arriving.

ExplorePHOTOS: Free turkey giveaway attracts crowd on Needmore Road
Vehicles lined up Thursday afternoon for a free turkey giveaway in the former Kroger parking lot on Needmore Avenue. The drive-thru giveaway is through With God's Grace Food Pantry. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY
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Vehicles lined up Thursday afternoon for a free turkey giveaway in the former Kroger parking lot on Needmore Avenue. The drive-thru giveaway is through With God's Grace Food Pantry. STAFF/MARSHALL GORBY

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Robbie Robinson was among those in line just after 1 p.m.

He said he got in line at 6 a.m. and was the first person there.

“This means dinner for my family,” he said. “I’m grateful for everything.”

Jennifer White, who was playing with bubbles while waiting to get a turkey, said she was in a carpool driven by her mother.

“We picked up friends and they didn’t have cars and it’s a drive-thru only so there are five people in the car and we got here right before 1 o’clock,” she said.

White said she is grateful for the turkey and is looking forward to cooking it in a slow cooker with vegetables.

Jennifer White plays with bubbles while waiting for her free turkey at the former Kroger lot on Needmore Road Nov. 19, 2020. With God’s Grace Food Pantry is giving away 1,000 turkeys. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Caption
Jennifer White plays with bubbles while waiting for her free turkey at the former Kroger lot on Needmore Road Nov. 19, 2020. With God’s Grace Food Pantry is giving away 1,000 turkeys. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Multiple churches, restaurants and community groups in the Dayton region are offering Thanksgiving meal giveaways.

ExploreDayton-area nonprofit to provide around 6K free Thanksgiving meals

Some groups are expecting record numbers this year, but not just because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The reason we’re anticipating more is because the annual event at the Dayton Convention Center isn’t doing its annual Thanksgiving luncheon,” said Pastor David Renfro of Evangel Church of God.

ExploreArea groups offering free Thanksgiving meals

Throughout the pandemic The Foodbank Inc. has severed hundreds of households with weekly drive-thrus.

Outreach leader Caitlyn McIntosh said that lines are still long, but not what The Foodbank saw back in March and April.

“In March and April it had such a profound impact on people, because what if this happens again, but we’re always going to be here for everybody,” she said. “We will never shut down, we’re the last people to do that, there’s no need for people to worry about food on the table because we’ll always be there for them.”

ExploreDayton Foodbank: ‘We’re always going to be here for everybody’