In September, Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about the many ways in which Foodshare collaborates with the Hartford business community. Nan recently caught up with Jason to learn more about Foodshare’s Turkey and Thirty campaign and the upcoming Turkey Tuesday, which is November 19 at City Place.
NAN PRICE: Let’s talk turkey! Tell us about importance of this annual campaign.
JASON JAKUBOWSKI: Sure. Foodshare kicked off our Turkey and Thirty campaign the first week of November. It runs through Tuesday, November 26. We ask people here in the Greater Hartford community to donate a frozen turkey so families can enjoy a great Thanksgiving and we ask them to make a $30 contribution so we can continue to do our work throughout the year.
NAN: You’re looking for a specific number of turkeys and a specific dollar amount, right?
JASON: Yes. We work through our partner agencies to set our goal. We need 15,059 turkeys and a $451,770 by Thanksgiving. It’s not an arbitrary number. All those turkeys are assigned to a specific family that has requested a turkey for Thanksgiving.
NAN: What’s the best way to donate?
JASON: There are plenty of ways people can donate. They can visit our website and find one of our turkey drives and drop off a turkey. They can drop off a turkey right here at Foodshare headquarters. They can also donate a virtual turkey if they don’t feel like lugging around a frozen Turkey. They can also drop off and be part of our community celebration on Turkey Tuesday.
NAN: Tell us a little more about Turkey Tuesday.
JASON: Turkey Tuesday is our big final push toward Thanksgiving. This year it’s on Tuesday, November 19. For the last several years, folks have donated hundreds of turkeys and thousands of dollars just on that one morning. It’s a great way for the Greater Hartford community to come together and give before Thanksgiving.
The event is sponsored by Bank of America, which provides the space and financial support. Bank of America President Joe Gianni will be there with me the entire time thanking folks for donating turkeys and helping out people here in the community.
Brad Davis and Byron from Talk of Connecticut broadcast live from the lobby of City Place. Notable people like Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman John Larson stop by and Hartford Yard Goats mascots Chompers and Chew Chew are on hand for photo opportunities. The MetroHartford Alliance has always been great supporters of this event. Alliance President and CEO David Griggs and Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julio Concepcion usually stop by. They’ve always been very supportive of the effort, which we appreciate.
Usually heading into Turkey Tuesday, I’m a little nervous about whether we’re going to meet our number in terms of the number turkeys and money we need to raise by Thanksgiving. My fears are always drifted away by the time I leave Turkey Tuesday because I can see how much support there is in there in the community.