‘Operation Give Birds’ 2023 gives out 1500 Thanksgiving meals

Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 8:17 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - More than a thousand families across four cities in Eastern Iowa picked up supplies for a free Thanksgiving meal Sunday at Iowa Giving Crew’s seventh annual Operation Give Birds.

Volunteers started packing boxes at 8 am Sunday morning.

Each box includes things like rolls, stuffing mix, gravy, vegetables and of course a turkey.

Those who signed up for a box could pick them up in Iowa City, Dubuque, Waterloo and Cedar Rapids.

Leaders with Iowa Giving Crew say with the rising cost of groceries the need is greater now more than ever before.

“The needs there continues to grow. I don’t see that going away anytime soon, unfortunately. So the more we can help out the better,” said Nick Dusil, Iowa Giving Crew President.

“In just 24 hours, we had more than 1000 families sign up,” said Danielle Monthei, Iowa Giving Crew Fundraising Director.

Volunteers packed up 1500 Thanksgiving meals this year. And even some younger kids helped out along the way.

“My favorite part is helping everyone who can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal to help them feel how we all experience, how we all love Thanksgiving and spend time with our family,” said Graham Russell, volunteer.

People picked up their boxes from noon to 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

Leaders with Iowa Giving Crew said they hope to continue to grow to serve even more families next year.