Free turkeys to be given to Chicagoans in need

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Hundreds of people braved the cold Thursday morning for an annual turkey giveaway on Chicago's West Side.

For many, it could be their only chance to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table.

Many watched the sun rise while standing in line in the 500-block of West Madison Avenue in the city's South Austin neighborhood.

"Left my house about 5:30, got here at 6. It's that important to me," Andre Kellum said.

One thought kept them going through the frigid temperatures: All the people they plan to feed with the turkey, bag of potatoes and box of fixings they received.

"Nine grand babies and three kids," Georgette Lacy said.

"Coco, Tony, Martel, Mania," Bernadine Ludington said. "William, my daddy, Cher."

"My grandkids, my great grands," Mitchell Fluker said.

The Black McDonald's Operators Association has hosted the event for the last 18 years. More than 2,000 turkeys and canned goods were distributed to members of at least 500 families.

"I think we're probably going to run out pretty soon. It just speaks to the need of the community," said Ron Lofton, of the Black McDonalds Owner's Association.

Some people were brought to tears, just thinking about feeding their families this holiday.

"It's a godsend. It's God's gift to everyone," Kellum said.

Organizers said the lines get longer at these events every year. Two more turkey giveaways are scheduled this week:

Friday, Nov. 10

6336 S. Ashland Ave.
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 11
3639 169th Street
Hammond, Ind.
8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

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