JACKSON, MI – Many Jackson residents will now have a full Thanksgiving table thanks to help from the Jackson Police Department.
The department had its second-annual Turkey Drive Thru event Monday. Nov. 20, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds and gave out 300 free frozen turkeys to families.
The 2023 event was a major success, and police department staff were able to help double the families they did than last year, City Spokesman Aaron Dimick said.
“Seeing so many people come out to the event really speaks to the need that exists in the Jackson community,” Dimick said. “With increasing food costs for families, we hope this will also alleviate some financial strain during the holiday season.”
The event was organized through the department’s Group Violence Intervention Program. The goal is to help local families get food on the table this Thanksgiving and help lessen the financial cost of having a celebration, officials said.
All 300 turkeys were given away in 30 minutes, officials said.
“Our second-annual drive-thru event was a big success,” Dimick said. “We learned some lessons from last year’s event about how to organize traffic, so this was a very efficient event that went smoothly.”
Walmart in Jackson donated 100 of the turkeys to this event. Some Walmart staff also helped officers distribute turkeys and gave out free $25 gift cards to residents, officials said.
The Jackson Police Department is just one of the organizations providing free turkeys or meals to residents. Other pickup events and community dinners are scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving, which falls on Thursday, Nov. 23 this year.
This includes Jackson’s Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, which is getting turkeys from Grand River Brewery, 117 W. Louis Glick Highway. The restaurant is donating a frozen turkey for each Thanksgiving meal purchased by patrons.
Officials at the King Center will give these turkeys to families in need from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, at the King Center, 1107 Adrian Street.
A full list of free turkey pick-up events and community dinners can be found here.