St. Matthew’s House feeds thousands at annual ‘Turkey Drop’

Published: November 19, 2020 5:01 PM EST
Updated: November 19, 2020 5:35 PM EST

The line for a Thanksgiving food giveaway Thursday morning was so long that organizers opened an hour early.

St. Matthew’s House in Naples hosted its annual “Turkey Drop,” and cars started lining up at 6:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. event at First Baptist Church of Naples.

“I’m thankful. You know, I’m not normally one who is a food bank person ever, so this is humbling for me,” said Sarah Highfield.

Despite hard times, her family will still have turkey this year, even if it required some extra help to get it.

“Both me and my husband got laid off and I had to stay home with the children, so it kind of was a big struggle,” Highfield said.

She isn’t alone. St. Matthew’s House said they set an all-time record Thursday, handing out food to 1,774 families. They fed 902 families in 2019.

“I was talking to one of the guys in the cars who I recognized, and last year he had given us $1,000 to support the holiday meal giveaway, and this year he was in line with his kids,” said Vann Ellison, CEO of St. Matthew’s House.

Some of those at the event waited hours while 100 volunteers passed out the thousands of meals.

“They’ll have a meal on the table and they won’t have to starve,” said volunteer Jack Taylor.

“It gives you a great feeling that you’re helping people, and helping families in need,” said Joseph Tornincaso with Capital Wealth Advisors, a title sponsor.

Along with Capital Wealth Advisors, Seed to Table and other sponsors, donations for the Turkey Drop came from the community.

For more places to get free food for Thanksgiving, click here.