Tuesday marked the start of a new way of collecting donations and turkeys for Foodshare's annual "Turkey Tuesday."
Since March, the organization has worked to give out food items for families who've fallen on hard times.
In the past, Foodshare collected turkeys and monetary donations in person on Turkey Tuesday. However, out of an abundance of caution, the group bought turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving to ensure that families in need will have a meal. This year, they're asking the community to donate online and help support the purchasing of additional turkeys.
"Like everything else in the year of 2020, we've had to completely reinvent something that we have done for so many years," said Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Foodshare. "Instead of lugging turkeys down and putting them in a bin, we're urging people to go to Food Share.org and donate a virtual turkey.
Food Share told NBC Connecticut that they need almost 21,000 turkeys this year before thanksgiving, which is the highest number that they've needed in the past several years.
"The need is greater than ever before. We're counting on the community to be there for us," said Jakubowski. "At the end of the day, the goal is still the same to get those turkeys on those tables for those families on Thanksgiving.”
Bobbie Parnell, of East Hartford, is one of the people to go to Rentschler Field, not for herself, but because she wants to help her neighbors.
"We give ours away for the people that can't come," said Parnell. "Even if you don't know the person, it's still important to give to those who need help."
Other people who showed up at Rentschler Field, including Candace Hamond, who also lives in East Hartford, said Foodshare is taking the right steps to be safe and provide turkeys to people who need a little help.
"We all have to make a combined effort," said Hamond. "I think we need to be making plans to keep the food distribution going and in place."
If you would like to donate a virtual turkey or make a financial donation, you can, click here.
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