Local organizations hand out 600 turkeys to those in need

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Today, St. John Baptist Church, The Mighty Fortress, the Tate Law Group and Tate Global Media passed out hundreds of turkeys to those in need.

“The reason that we’re doing this is because Savannah has a 28% poverty rate and there’s a lot of people in desperate need,” says Mark Tate, the founder of Tate Law Group and one of the Turkey Drive organizers.

Hundreds lined up at Memorial Stadium to receive a free Thanksgiving meal.

“We have been through so much, so as much as we can get back to normal traditions the better it is for everybody,” says Mayor Van Johnson.

The drive makes sure more families have food for the holidays.

“This is wonderful what Savannah is doing,” says Savannah resident, Miriam Williams.

The group handed out 600 turkeys to the families.

“Those turkeys will feed between 10 and 12 people who otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner,” said Tate.

The now annual Turkey Drive started during the pandemic in response to growing food insecurity.

“We have seen, especially during the course of the pandemic, needs increasing,” says Pastor George P. Lee III of St. John Baptist Church, who is one of the Turkey Drive organizers.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices went up over 5% in the last year.

“We know that food prices and costs are going up,” said Lee.

The cost of meats and poultry saw the biggest increase, going up roughly 11% since 2020.

“We really want to reach out to these folks during this time, during this pandemic and make it so they can enjoy the things they should enjoy. Everyone should be able to have a thanksgiving dinner,” Tate said.

Organizers say the need goes beyond a Thanksgiving meal.

“It has been quite interesting to see the phenomenal response, but it also pushes us to think of more creative ways to meet those needs, not just during thanksgiving but the entire year,” says Lee.

Tate and Lee say they hope to pass out 1,000 turkeys at next year’s drive.

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