The prepared Thanksgiving meals we delivered to individuals for Turkeypalooza.
The 6th Annual Turkeypalooza took place starting November 1st to the 16th, leading to 37 organizations from around the Community and UGA’s campus came together to raise over 1800 cans. With these cans and food items we were able provide 935 Thanksgiving meals to seniors and their families in the Athens Clarke County Area, serving 20 more families than last year.
Members of the Athens Church and PSO student scholars cooking and organizing food for Turkeypalooza.
Our biggest annual event comes in like waves. The cans and potatoes flow in on the last night of the can drive to be counted and sorted--all before they trickle back out into the community for hundreds of families the following week. Along with our time spent in the kitchen cooking 70 individual thanksgiving meals and dropping off a few meals to families ourselves, before we know it, another Turkeypalooza in the books.
Not only did people donate food items, they also donated their time as members of Athens Church and Public Service & Outreach student scholars helped with cooking and packing bags for families. Without their help, we would have never been able to manage getting everything cooked and sorted in time to distribute them to our clients.
Members of the Campus Kitchen Leadership Team get to utilize the new Subaru Outback that the Athens Community Council on Aging was awarded this Fall. They'll use it on weekends and some week days to transport food from grocery stores and to deliver meals to clients.
A key component to the success of Turkeypalooza is the Athens Community Council on Aging. They are one of our most important community partners that we work with when dealing with day to day operations, however when it comes to Turkeypalooza they’re the greatest asset we have. Not only do they allow us to use their building as a distribution hub, and use their equipment, but they raised over 9 thousand dollars for turkeys and extra food items this year.
Members of the Campus Kitchen Leadership team counting and processing food as donations came in on November 16th for Turkeypalooza.
While Turkeypalooza is a huge deviation from our normal operations, everyone here at CKUGA knows it’s one of the most important things we do all year. Not only does it allow us to help provide meals for families in need but also create cohesion between members of the community, and UGA students. So many different organizations are brought together from churches to sororities and a wide variety of campus and community groups with different interests and goals coming together to help the most vulnerable in our community.
Overall this Turkeypalooza was wildly successful and we’re extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be apart of it! Thanks to all the organizations that worked with us to raise cans, cook and pack meals, and finally distribute food to families in time for Thanksgiving.