WTXL Turkey Drive: Second Harvest employees anticipate huge impact for families in need

Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 05:16:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - In its 3rd year, with your help, the WTXL Turkey Drive raised nearly $17,500 for families in need of a Thanksgiving meal right here in the big bend.

And in this now 4th year, we’re raising the stakes.

While donations from you truly make the difference, the impact wouldn’t be possible without our partners at Second Harvest of the Big Bend.

“People are just so fired up about what they're doing for us. Whether it's giving us turkeys or monetary donation,” said David Cox, Director of Operations for Second Harvest of the Big Bend.

You've likely heard by now. One in six people, right here in the Big Bend, is food insecure. Some without the slightest clue of where their next meal will come from.

It's why we'll broadcast live from the Chain of Parks dark and early at 5 a.m. on November 16th.

But for Cox, could say on that Thursday morning, he'll be up with the turkeys...

“I usually get up around 3 a.m.”, Cox said.

From there he hits the ground running, that’s because his role is pretty crucial to pulling this entire thing off without a hitch.

"I guess the first focus is getting the truck out there on time,” Cox said.

The famous truck is used to store your turkey donations once you drop them off.

And while all you have to do is pull up and hand off that bird, the process from there involves a pretty intricate step, making sure they're safe to eat come Thanksgiving Day.

“Our clientele are some of the most vulnerable there is so we want to make sure that all the food we get is safe. We're going to make sure that food is taken care of, it gets back here to the warehouse and goes into our freezer,” Cox said.

Back at the second harvest warehouse, that big freezer, where cold is an understatement.

“In here right now it's minus 6, negative 6 degrees,” said Kenny Sharpe, with Second Harvest.

Sharpe is sure to point out trips to the freezer are kept pretty short.

He helps unload the precious cargo and stores it in the freezer until it's distributed to Second Harvest's partner agencies. And he says what happens next is truly inspirational.

“Well, I get to see it firsthand. I get to see the excitement of the agencies who actually give the food out to the families,” Sharpe said.

With partner agencies like Elder Care Services, The Salvation Army and some 128 others throughout the Big Bend, the season of giving is well underway.

And for Kenny, David and the rest of the second harvest crew, every ounce of food is always a hand up, never a handout.

“Some little kid is going to be blessed this year because they're going to have a Thanksgiving they've never had in the past. Just by this event, this drive,” Sharpe said.

Sweeping away hunger, one turkey at a time.

Your chance to help sweep away food insecurity begins Thursday, November 16th.

Click here for more details about WTXL's Turkey Drive!