Annual Park City Turkey Drive to serve thousands
'To have all of those people hungry is just unacceptable,' organizer says
Hunger has no boundaries.
There are 392,000 Utahns, which equates to 1 in 8 residents, will miss a meal on Thanksgiving,, and among those people, 1 in 6 Utah children are unsure if they will eat another meal, according to the Utah Food Bank.
This is why the Park City Board of Realtors hosts its yearly Park City Turkey Drive, at The Market at Park City, said event organizer Deb Hartley. This is the drive’s 16th year.
“To have all of those people hungry is just unacceptable,” Hartley told The Park Record. “We can do better. So we’re trying to make a difference.” This year’s turkey drive,will be held from 10 a.m .to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16 and 17, at The Market, 1500 Snow Creek Drive. The goal is to collect 2,500 turkeys.
“We need $50,000 to buy all of these turkeys,” Hartley said. “It’s a big goal, but it can be achieved with the wonderful people in our community.”
Of those 2,500 birds, 850 will be distributed to families in Summit and Wasatch counties. “That’s a big wow,” Hartley said. “Up until 2014, we were donating 600 turkeys locally, but the need has grown.”
The 850 turkeys will be picked up on Thursday at 3 p.m. by the Christian Center of Park City for the Park City Food Bank and the rest of the birds will be picked up at 5:30 p.m. on Friday by the Utah Food Bank, Hartley said.
People can visit The Market and buy a turkey to donate, or they can donate money.
“I love seeing families go into the store and choose a turkey with their kids,” Hartley said. “It’s like the parents are teaching their children the art of giving and being philanthropic.”
Donations can also be made through the turkey drive website, http://www.parkcityturkeydrive.info, which links to the Park City Board of Realtors’ PayPal account.
In addition to the turkeys, The Market has put together shopping bags full of Thanksgiving dinner side dishes and ingredients.
This is thanks to The Market at Park City owner Mike Holm, Hartley said.
“Mike sells the turkeys at cost, so every dollar, every penny used to buy the turkeys isn’t used for overhead or precessing costs,” Hartley said. ‘“We partnered with Mike from the beginning, and he is community-spirited kind of guy and an ardent supporter of this. We couldn’t do the drive without him.”
The Park City Turkey Drive has grown some legs since the early days, when the drive took one day to collect 75 turkeys.
“The idea is still the same, which is to make sure no family goes without a Thanksgiving dinner,” Hartley said. “The drive has taken a life of its own and has expanded to two days.” Hartley is amazed at the support from the community over the years.
“If you consider that a turkey, one turkey, can feed six people for one Thanksgiving dinner, since the first year we’ve been in business, we have fed more than 150,000 people in the state of Utah,” she said. “And that doesn’t include the turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, or soup that is made from the leftovers.”
Hartley said she is thankful for the people who help with the drive.
“We run on volunteers, so we have no overhead,” she said. “That means the donations will go toward what people want them to go to, which are Thanksgiving dinners.”
Hartley is also grateful to the more than 1,000 Park City Board of Realtor members.
“At the end of the day, this is truly a philanthropic event put on by the Park City Board of Realtors,” she said. “While every realtor has their individual pet project that they love, whether its Nuzzles & Co. or Habitat for Humanity, we all come together to make the turkey drive our own thing. Thanks to them, the Park City Turkey Drive has become one of the largest independent food drives in the state of Utah. And that’s amazing to me. This is the season of giving and we kick it off with this. We are homegrown and we want to keep it homegrown.”
Hartley said the 2,500-turkey goal is the biggest one yet.
“They may also be our apex, because I don’t think we will be able to fit any more on the truck that is provided by the Utah Food Bank,” she said.
The Park City Board of Realtors will host its 16th annual Park City Turkey Drive from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16 and 17, at The Market at Park City. 1500 Snow Creek Dr. For information, visit http://www.parkcityturkeydrive.info.
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