Jacksonville’s ‘Longest Table,’ turkey giveaway spotlight holiday spirit, giving thanks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thanks to the generosity of some Jacksonville-area organization and their supporters, local families will have a happy Thanksgiving — and a big bird for the holiday.

Others gathered downtown Wednesday evening and gave thanks during a huge outdoor dinner.

At a drive-up turkey and gift card giveaway on the Northside, 100 turkeys were handed out. Radio personality GeneDotCom, with V101.5, says the gift cards help ease family stresses during this time of year.

Photo from turkey giveaway on Northside.

“We always give away money every week,” he explained. “So we kind of make it like a scavenger hunt and we go on Instagram and if you follow us and if you add the location you get the money.”

He said they joined Duval Black Women United in the event to demonstrate the “giving” in Thanksgiving.

“It’s very important ‘cause there’s a lot of hurting people out there financially, the holidays are coming and, you know, this is our way of giving back to a community that gives us so much,” the radio personality said.

Meanwhile, the JAX Chamber hosted the “Longest Table” community dinner, back for its first time in two years.

Ray Driver, the chair of the Chamber, said he was thrilled to see the tables out for a feast that brought out hundreds.

“To bring together all parts of our community with no objective other than people blending and sitting with people and breaking bread that they would otherwise not run into, and it’s obviously been hugely successful,” Driver said.

The event was designed to build and strengthen community relationships across economic, racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds.

About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.