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Island neighbors to host annual turkey drop for those in need

By Staff | Nov 7, 2018

A Sanibel couple, with the help of some of their neighbors, will once again collect turkeys and other non-perishable food items to help locals in need enjoy a happy Thanksgiving this year.

Marking its third year, the Sanibel East End Turkey Drop and Roll will be held on Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of the home of Henry and Sandy Peterson, at 444 Lagoon Drive. Henry Peterson, a retired Sysco employee, explained that he had worked with food banks up north helping the needy.

“I wanted to do something here and that’s how it got started,” he said.

All of the donations are delivered to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.

“It’s a great organization,” Peterson said. “They dedicate a lot to communities.”

The first year, only a few turkeys were dropped off.

“Last year, we sent over 450 pounds of turkeys to the food bank, along with various dry foods to go with the Thanksgiving dinners,” he said. “So we’re hoping to do more this year.”

Frozen turkeys are accepted, along with non-perishable items.

“Some people are real nice,” Peterson said. “They bring a turkey and a bag of groceries.”

“We need frozen turkeys,” he added. “But if they prefer to pick up non-perishables because it’s easier for them to store, we’ll be happy to take them.”

Most of the donated turkeys have weighed between 10 pounds and 12 pounds.

Suggestions to go with the turkey may include cranberry sauce, gravy sauce, instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix and canned vegetables – things that would help to complete a Thanksgiving dinner.

“Whatever they want to do,” Peterson said.

First renting for a few years, the couple have been island homeowners for 20 years now.

The community is invited to stop by and help the great cause.

“Feel free to bring as many turkeys as you can – let everybody enjoy themselves for the day,” he said, referring to the families who will receive the donations for a holiday dinner. “That’s all we want.”

For more information, contact the Petersons at 239-395-2476.