Over 300 turkeys given out during Flint Thanksgiving giveaway
FLINT, MI – A line of cars leading to a turkey distribution event at The Sweet Leaf dispensary wrapped around Robert T. Longway Boulevard in Flint for several blocks on Tuesday afternoon.
Volunteers distributed 250 turkeys in under an hour, and an additional 60 turkeys were donated, bringing the total to more than 300 before Thanksgiving Thursday.
Community partners also donated canned food and the Great Harvest Bread Company of Grand Blanc donated 250 loaves of bread to accompany holiday meals.
Among those who helped distribute the birds and loaves were former NBA player and Flint Northwestern star Morris Peterson, world champion boxer Claressa Shields and Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
The event was made possible through a partnership with The Sweet Leaf and United Way of Flint and Genesee County.
Having a community turkey gift is very important this year due to COVID-19, Peterson said.
“We are not here to despise anyone. We are here to help and to be a resource, ”he noted. “Mayor Neeley, Sweet Leaf, Claressa Shields, myself, we all come from this environment. We want to make sure our employees have a great Thanksgiving. “
The spirit of generosity is everlasting, said Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley.
Neeley hopes families can stay home and cook only with their household with the food provided.
“We were able to scale up a private and public partnership to help our people today,” he said. “Flint is home to real champions. “
Event coordinators have acknowledged that COVID-19 has put many families out of work, increasing financial burdens over the holiday season, said Delano Burton, director of The Sweet Leaf.
“We’re just happy to be here,” said Burton. “With COVID-19, it’s important to see community leaders here giving back.”
Bruce Leach, event sponsor and dispensary lawyer, called the attendance “fantastic”.
“It’s wonderful to see the outpouring of generosity from other local partners,” said Leach.
The event was one of two freebies on Tuesday, including turkeys and tamales handed out at the Latinx Technology and Community Center on Lewis Street on the east side of Flint.