The St. Elizabeth Seton Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society convened at Bashas’ in Peoria for its annual Turkey Tuesday event.
Members were positioned in front of the store with a container for donated turkeys. Another SVdP conference was at work at the second Bashas’ entrance also collecting turkeys for the needy families in their district.
The St. Elizabeth Seton Conference served 37 families throughout the day with a turkey, groceries and a gift card, donated to each recipient by Bashas’. Teams worked two-hour shifts to receive donated turkeys and pass them on to their neighbors.
Conference members had packed and brought some of the holiday food items from their pantry, which had been given by parishioners at the October food drive. Several customers also purchased and donated potatoes, vegetables, cranberry sauce and other foods from Bashas’ for the turkey drive. One anonymous donor contributed several large bags, which had been bought and left in a cart inside the store. The conference also received $2,215 in donations, which will be used to feed families in the future.
By 7 p.m., the donation tally was 132 turkeys; 20 were moved to the church pantry freezer as the container for turkeys was overflowing (one gentleman donated 20 turkeys). Some of the many turkeys were shared with the downtown Watkins center, which feeds thousands of homeless and needy people on Thanksgiving Day and beyond.
Co-chairs Yvonne Evans and Barbara Scott made the day run smoothly while wearing their turkey hats and another member donned a turkey costume.