Hundreds of Turkeys Given to Opa-locka Residents for Thanksgiving

Ready or not, the holidays are upon us. The hard reality is that a lot of people can't afford to put food on the table for the holidays.

That was evident by the line that wrapped around an entire city block in Opa-locka on Monday. Thanks to the vice mayor, 800 turkeys were given away.

Annie Stozier, a pre-dawn Opa-locka turn out, was second in line and excited and appreciative, "To get the food, to get the turkey."

She, like many in a line of hundreds, would have to scramble for Thanksgiving dinner, if it weren't for Opa-locka's turkey giveaway.

"I would do something. Not necessarily have a turkey, but I would do something," Stozier said.

"Get some food. I'm poor. I'm blessed but I'm still poor," Beverly Brown added.

While some took an open air snooze, the party-like atmosphere was the result of Vice Mayor Timothy Holmes' efforts. He's organized this for 19-years and always feels he falls short, "I know I can't give them all a turkey. I would love to, but I want to give as many turkeys as I can."

Vice Mayor Holmes raised $3,000 to bring in a truck full of pallets, full of holiday fowl. He also relies on business donations, and good hearts, like the Reed family, who donated 200 bunches of collard greens.

"All of this is a labor of love and we donate. Each member of my family gives between $100 and $200," said Chrystal Moore-Lewis, Reed family member.

Moore-Lewis grows the mountain of greens in Georgia, loads them and drives them to Opa-locka.

Exhausted from the long wait, residents strolled off with smiles and a little bit of relief.

"I was like is this chicken or turkey. They said it was turkey. I said I want a big one," said Melinda Mercado.

"Oh yes, I'm grateful for a lot of things and God, without that we got nothing," said Raul Iglesias.

800 turkeys were given away and 200 bunches of greens. The only requirement was that you be an Opa-locka city resident verified by driver's license or some other form of identification.

Contact Us