DOVER — Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner, faith organizations came together to give away 1,000 turkeys and all the trimmings to residents of Dover Housing Authority’s Manchester Square Apartments.
Led by the Rev. Dr. R.J. Chandler Sr., pastor of Scott African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Wilmington and Transformation AME Zion Church in Dover, the giveaway was held Monday.
“Initially, the scene was chaotic as a small but determined group of volunteers worked furiously to load cars and keep the line moving,” the Rev. Chandler said in a news release.
Mayor Robin Christiansen and Dover City Councilman Andre Boggerty, along with the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Dover and Vicinity, also aided in the effort. The Food Bank of Delaware, which provided pallets of fruits and vegetables, as well as hundreds of frozen chickens and canned items, lent a hand, too.
Of the 1,000 turkeys given out, Dave Zickafoose of Hilton Bus donated 61. Several more came from individuals, and another 800 were donated by an anonymous benefactor.
With the increase in hunger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rev. Chandler said Transformation AME has become a food-distribution partner with Feed the Children and the Food Bank of Delaware.
Additionally, through a partnership between the Kent County Coalition and Focus Pharmacy in Smyrna, COVID-19 vaccinations were available at the event. They were administered by Dr. TaQuina M. Warren of the pharmacy, who provided first and second doses or booster shoots.
Calling him a “good man with a servant’s heart,” the Rev. Chandler praised Gov. John Carney for helping in the effort.
“Our Gov. John Carney, despite not being adequately dressed for the cold, jumped into the fray and worked feverishly for over an hour hustling different cases of turkeys, some weighing over 60 pounds, stacking boxes of food and loading cars and trucks,” the Rev. Chandler said.
He called the event a “tremendous team effort,” thanking U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, state Sen. Trey Paradee and state Rep. Sean Lynn. He also thanked the Rev. Theodore Henderson and the Rev. Rita Paige.
The Rev. Chandler said the United Way of Delaware and Dr. Vilicia Cade, superintendent of the Capital School District, aided in the giveaway, too, along with Polemarch Eric Morgan of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. and Donnell’s Salon for Men and Women in Dover.