BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — Hundreds of turkeys were handed out to residents of the Castle Hill Houses on Tuesday as players for the New York Giants helped people fill their shopping carts.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams appreciated the opportunity to help.
“We’re blessed to be able to come out here and give back to the communities that are a little less privileged,” Williams said.
He was joined by nose tackle Dexter Lawrence.
“Just trying to bring a smile to people’s faces and enjoy this moment just to give back and be a blessing,” Lawrence said.
Xavier McKinney, Adoree’ Jackson, and Darnay Holmes were also handing out the turkeys and produce.
Stefanie Schuman, public relations manager for Stop & Shop stores in New York City, says 500 turkeys were donated by the grocery store chain.
“Stop & Shop, every year, runs something called ‘Turkey Express’ where we donate tens of thousands of turkeys to hunger relief organizations across our five-state footprint,” Schuman said.
The turkeys were given to the Food Bank for New York City which organized the giveaway.
“Inflation is high and so the prices at the grocery store are a lot higher than they were last year, so having this kind of distribution is so helpful to the community,” Janis Robinson, vice president of Institutions and Partnerships at Stop & Shop, said.
As communities continue to fight food insecurity and health disparities, Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson says they’re addressing these issues for the long term.
“It’s one thing to provide a family with a turkey and a meal for Thanksgiving, but it’s another thing to sustain them for weeks and months and that’s what we also intend to do,” Gibson said. “We have to have better healthcare, we have to have access all year round to healthy food, to farmers markets, to green markets, to farming, urban agriculture.”
The NYCHA development has its own farm, which is where the some of the produce that was handed out on Tuesday came from. CheVon Cooper is the farm manager.
“We got to use all our space and our resources to not only get the things that we need but to teach and educate and I think that’s the main thing— bringing the people back to the land,” Cooper said.
The Food Bank says 375,000 Bronx residents live below the poverty level and the nonprofit believes healthy food should not be expensive or inaccessible.
Stop & Shop donated 25,000 turkeys across five states and the Food Bank received 2,500 of them. After the 500 were distributed in the Bronx on Tuesday, the organization will give out the remaining in other parts of the city.