Second Harvest of Big Bend hosts Thanksgiving turkey, food distribution

Distribution held at Governor's Square Mall Saturday
Posted at 12:54 AM, Nov 20, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Saturday, 40 volunteers were helping pass out Thanksgiving meal kits at Second Harvest's holiday distribution. So everyone can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

Lining up to get some help for the holiday for hours.

The parking lot at Govenor's Square Mall was busy Saturday morning.

"It's not uncommon for us to hear, as we've already heard this morning, of families picking up for other families, parents picking up for their kids, kids picking up for their grandparents. It's just a remarkable event from beginning to end," Monique Ellsworth, the chief executive officer of Second Harvest of the Big Bend said.

This year's turkey drive providing meals for over one thousand families from 11 Big Bend counties. The meal kits include a frozen 18-pound turkey, items for side dishes, and fresh produce. The turkeys in the kits are all thanks to donations collected through the ABC 27 Turkey Drive.

This year was one of the most successful turkey drives due to the community's generosity.

WTXL ABC 27 exceeded its goal and collected more than turkeys, which was more than the goal from 2021.

Monetary donations totaled more than $37,000, which is up from just under $36,000 last year.

"This is what we do as a television station, ABC27, we want to serve the community. We want to give back and this along with our viewers, everybody's come together to make today a special day for people that are in need," ABC 27 general manager Matt Brown said.

Ahead of Saturday's distribution, Victoria Graham volunteered to help pack this year's kits.

"It makes me feel happy in the holidays that I can contribute and help out other families in need that need a little bit of help," Graham said.

Leaders at Second Harvest say the work doesn't end here.

"How much generosity there is in Tallahassee to create and event that looks like this with so much food available and the trust that so many of our neighbors who are in need have in Second Harvest and the work that we do to make sure that families don't have to go this holiday season without the food that they need," Ellsworth said.

In Florida's Big Bend, almost one in seven people are facing food insecurity: according to stats from