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State Rep. Austin Davis greets a visitor during Saturday’s event. (Submitted photo)
Eight hundred Mon Valley families received free Thanksgiving turkeys and ingredients for side dishes during a giveway Saturday morning at McKeesport Area High School.
The giveaway was held as a drive-through event to ensure social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. McKeesport police helped direct traffic as cars waited along Eden Park Blvd.
The giveaway was arranged by Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and state Rep. Austin Davis of McKeesport. Volunteers loaded boxes into the back seats and trunks of cars “bucket-brigade” style in the parking lot of Tiger Stadium.
“We came to work with Austin Davis because he's been a great partner of ours at the food bank for some time,” said Erin Kelly, director of innovation and distribution at the food bank. “He reached out to us to let us know that he wanted to do something special for some of the residents.”
Davis said that given the financial struggles placed upon Allegheny County residents due to the pandemic, he wanted to make sure that a year filled with anxiety, concern and financial hardships wasn’t going to spoil the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We know this pandemic has been particularly hard on people dealing with unemployment and with food insecurity and we wanted to make sure everyone had the opportunity to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” Davis said.
In addition to a turkey, residents who registered for the event were provided food boxes containing boxes of stuffing and potatoes, as well as canned foods such as gravy and cranberry sauce, vegetables and sweet potatoes.
Information about state-related resources also was provided to participants in the event, a spokesperson said.
Editor’s Note: This story was written from press releases. No reporter was available to attend this event.
Originally published November 22, 2020.