Holiday preparations are well underway for New Yorkers across the five boroughs – including at Lauralee Charles’s home.

“One is going to my house, and the other is going to my mom’s house,” said the Brooklyn resident on Tuesday during a turkey distribution in Bushwick. “This is so good for the community and for the people in need. It is a blessing for a lot of people. Times are hard, so it is helpful.” 

Edward Laureano made his way from the other side of town just to make sure he would have a turkey for his neighbor.

“There are a lot of people that are in need, like my friend,” said the Queens resident. “I am glad they are doing this for the community. I know the Salvation Army does a lot of good work, so I hope this is going to help a lot of folks.” 

Hundreds of neighbors battled the cold and showed up in front of the Salvation Army Bushwick Corps Community Center. As families still deal with the aftermath of COVID-19 and food prices reach all-time highs, food distributions have become a lifeline for many New Yorkers.

“Our goal is to meet the needs that families have, try to bridge the need with the help of our partners, so they can have food on the table, not only during the holidays but throughout the year,” said Salvation Army’s Lt. Clifford Douglas. “For some, being able to have a turkey on Thanksgiving means everything.”  

All the 1,000 turkeys given out at Tuesday’s event were locally sourced from New Yorker farms.

“We look at this event as a way that we can support the American farmer, support the American communities, help people that are in need, and bring a little bit of extra joy to families this holiday season,” said Heather Wood with CMA CGM, who sponsored the turkey drive.  

The Salvation Army has several other food and turkey giveaway events organized across New York City all the way until Christmas; they are looking for volunteers. To get involved, reach out via salvationarmyny.org.