JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville chef who wants to make sure hundreds of people will have a meal for Thanksgiving is hosting a turkey giveaway event Saturday morning in Brentwood.
Chef Alvin Harvey plans to give away at least 500 turkeys at the Bridge the Gap headquarters at 561 W. 25th St. starting at 11 a.m. until everything is gone.
It is first come, first served.
“If I reach down to pull you up, I want to feel your pain,” Harvey said of why he does this kind of outreach. “We are all just one paycheck away from being homeless.”
In addition to the turkeys, people will receive things like canned goods, sweet potatoes, green beans and dressing/stuffing.
The meals are provided through the Chef Harvey Foundation.
“You never know when you might be in need of something,” Harvey said.
Harvey and a group went to Louisiana to provide meals after Hurricane Katrina because they were motivated to help people in tough times.
“Even if you feed only one person, you made a difference in their life,” he said.
But it was one person who inspired Harvey to do this work: his mentor, Master Chef John Wright, who died in 2017.
Harvey is now using his culinary talent to give hope to those in his hometown this Thanksgiving.
“We want Jacksonville to know that we are here and that we care,” he said. “We are going to be there for [the people].”
Harvey is taking donations through a GoFundMe account. The funds raised will not only be for the meal giveaway this weekend.
Harvey has plans to have these kinds of events throughout the entire year.
Harvey is also planning to have a certain number of gift cards to give out after the turkeys are gone. The gift cards will be valued around $40 each.