With the turkey being the main menu item in a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner, it is no wonder
Campus Kitchen at the University of Georgia and the Athens Community Council on Aging held ‘Turkeypalooza,’ an event that helped nearly 300 families secure a turkey and other traditional fixings.
Described as a seasonal event that “provides holiday groceries and meals to older adult families and homebound individuals,” Turkeypalooza is necessary.
As reported recently in The Red & Black, according to the Campus Kitchen website, 1 in 5 residents of Athens-Clarke County are at risk of hunger. In order to tackle this issue during the holiday season, Turkeypalooza collected canned foods from halloween until Thursday, Nov. 15th.
Turkeypalooza, unlike other donation organizations, directly impacts families in need this holiday season. On Monday the families retrieved their free Thanksgiving meal, which included a 15-pound turkey, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. A homemade card, greens from the UGArden and a recipe book were also included.
“Turkeypalooza is one big day broken up by six hour naps, broken up by five days” said The Campus Kitchen Coordinator Brad Turner of his position leading the event.
This year, The Campus Kitchen student leaders distributed and collected the donation bins from the businesses participating to alleviate the transportation issues.
The Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia were among the businesses that contributed this year. The organization’s year-round partners include the ACCA, UGArden, the Foodbank of Northeast Georgia and UGA Foods and Nutrition to form the Athens Senior Hunger Coalition.
The Public Service and Outreach student scholars and students from the Leadership and Service class recruited organizations and shuttled donation bins around Athens.
Matthew McGinty, a Junior Biological Science major from Savannah, Georgia, is one of the volunteers for Turkeypalooza. He was at the can drive sorting and collection at the Office of Student Learning annex.
“I was required to do experiential learning and saw this as an opportunity to serve” McGinty said. “ I wanted to be apart.”
The Turkeypalooza is just one of several ways Campus Kitchen at UGA is trying to fight hunger in the Athens community, but their efforts continue after the holiday season. Every week they provide sustainable and accessible food for those in need.
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