Help for the Holidays: Hundreds receive Thanksgiving meal during ‘Turkey Time’ drive-thru giveaway

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Feeding Northeast Florida and The Jaguars Foundation teamed up Friday afternoon to make sure hundreds of people have a nice Thanksgiving meal.

They hosted The “Turkey Time” Thanksgiving Giveaway in Lot J outside of TIAA Bank Field at 2 p.m. It is becoming a yearly tradition. Friday marked the third year of the giveaway.

The Jaguars Foundation and Feeding Northeast Florida handed out meals drive-thru style. There was enough food to feed 600 households this year.

LIST: Turkey giveaways, food distribution events ahead of Thanksgiving in Northeast Florida

The line was unbelievable — snaking through Lot J at TIAA Bank Field and spilling into the street. The News4AX Sky4 Drone captured an eye-opening look at how many waited, some for four hours for a free Thanksgiving meal.

“Getting a turkey, it’s needed,” Lynn Miller, who attended the event, said. “I needed it and so the wait — I just had to do it.”

She was one of the hundreds of people who received that free holiday meal from the Jaguars and Feeding Northeast Florida.

“With everything going up and I’m a hairstylist you know, hair is luxury so it’s not always people are going to come in, so this helps me to be able to pay a bill,” Miller said.

Susan King, President & CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida, said many people are in need of a little help this holiday season.

“The demand the need is so great we’ve seen about a 25 percent increase over the highest numbers during covid those needs are not going away,” King said.

According to Feeding Northeast Florida, in our eight Northeast Florida counties, 250,000 families don’t know where they’ll get their next meal. That includes 80,000 children, so food drives and donations to charities are critical.

Are you in need of assistance for Thanksgiving? Click here for a list of food distribution events in Northeast Florida.

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.