The Chattanooga Jewish Community Religious School started Chattanooga’s original “turkey train” turkey food drive 10 years ago when a new member of the Mizpah Congregation brought the idea with her from Arizona. Ten years later, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank is the recipient of several area “turkey trains” and receives hundreds of donated turkeys as a result.
This year, the CJCRS and Mizpah Congregation collected 70 frozen turkeys and $200 in monetary donations to help feed the hungry this Thanksgiving season. Ronni Charyn, principal of the CJCRS, said the students had been planning the turkey train for several weeks. The students and other participants gathered Sunday to help load the turkeys into the Chattanooga Area Food Bank truck; lined up side-by-side, passing the turkeys along a human “train” of hands, many of which were young children.
“We are very grateful to the CJCRS and Mizpah Congregation for their creative leadership and generosity,” says Holly Ashley, development director for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. “Their idea was so much fun, it’s no wonder we now have several turkey trains. I hope others will join in next year and help us collect even more healthy protein for our families in need.”
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank works through a 380-member network of agency partners to eliminate hunger and promote better nutrition across a 20-county service area in southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia. There are nearly 160,000 individuals in this region who are considered “food insecure”, meaning they lack reliable access to the nutritious food needed to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Last year alone, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank distributed 10.8 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 9 million meals, through its network to those in need of food support.
For more information about supporting the fight against hunger, visit www.ChattFoodBank.org or call 622-1800.
Ronnie Charyn leads the Turkey Train line