Food bank’s turkeys
arrive for isle needy

The program will get the birds
to families before Christmas

Free turkey feast is a labor of love

Star-Bulletin staff

They did not arrive in time for Thanksgiving, but 40,000 pounds of frozen turkey will be distributed to needy families in Hawaii before Christmas.

The Hawaii Foodbank got the word Wednesday that a ship carrying a full 40-foot container of frozen turkeys arrived and that the agency could pick up the container today.

The food bank will begin distributing the turkeys Monday to charities who will in turn give them to about 8,000 needy families.

"We've never had so much turkey at the food bank," said Brett Schlemmer, operations manager.

The food bank had ordered the turkeys through a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program and hoped to distribute them as a special treat for Thanksgiving, but the West Coast dock strike delayed the arrival of the shipment.

This was the first time the food bank had ordered turkeys through the USDA's Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, and local charities said the delay was not a big deal because the birds were not expected anyway.

The order was placed three months ago and was originally scheduled to arrive on Oct. 15.

It can take three to five months for an order from the program to arrive in Hawaii.

The food bank also received a grant to buy 40,000 pounds of chicken as a backup, but those birds were also delayed at the docks.

E-mail to City Desk


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