PHOENIX – Michael Kobs brings his turkey to his wife, whose succulent brining recipe makes for an extra juicy feast.
Hilda Shockey carries her turkey to her daughter, who likes to experiment with cooking methods. No matter the result, Hilda’s grandson, Wesley, gobbles up anything.
Darryl Horsman can’t steer his mind away from his favorite traditional side dishes like cranberries, stuffing and green bean casserole. A glass of Chardonnay is on the menu as well.
“This is actually my first turkey,” Jennifer Weston explained after picking up her 15-pound bird on Nov. 25 at U-Haul’s annual Thanksgiving Turkey Distribution. “I’ve never cooked one before, so it’s going to be a bit of an adventure.”
Whether roasting, smoking, grilling or deep-frying with U-Haul propane, U-Haul Team Members offered many solutions for serving their complimentary turkeys.
And many simply offered their turkeys to someone less fortunate.
U-Haul Team Members donated nearly 800 turkeys to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix (www.firstfoodbank.org), which distributes food to over 300 partner agencies from Maricopa County to Arizona’s northern border.
St. Mary’s officials said that U-Haul’s generosity ensured that, for the first time, the food bank would not run out of turkeys on Thanksgiving week. St. Mary’s hands out close to 28,000 turkeys leading up Thanksgiving, including 8,000 during the holiday week.
The day U-Haul’s turkeys arrived there was a steady stream of needy individuals in St. Mary’s walk-up line and countless automobiles split into six lanes for a drive-thru food handout in the parking lot. Volunteers loaded the cars with turkeys and bags filled with potatoes, bread and Thanksgiving staples.
St. Mary’s gives food to anyone that needs it, asking that recipients show only a form of I.D. to ensure one family doesn’t get multiple turkeys. According to the food bank, 29.9 percent of Arizona children under age 18 don’t know if they will eat dinner each night – one of the highest rates of any state.
U-Haul helps in this fight against hunger, in part thanks to the Company’s longstanding turkey giveaway to express appreciation for its full-time and part-time Team Members.
“I’ve been here 30 years now, and they’ve done it every year since I’ve been here – so it’s been way before that,” U-Haul Human Resources Director Angie DeWinter said.
“We’re trying to really recognize our team. They work for us very hard, serving our customers, and we just want to show appreciation to them. It’s a time for giving, a time for thanks, and what better way than to give them a turkey and let them enjoy time with their family as well.”
“This is absolutely great,” Horsman added. “There’s not many companies that do this.”