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AM Rajkumar, local Lions Club give out free turkeys to Richmond Hill residents ahead of Thanksgiving

Nov. 21, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar distributed over 400 Turkeys to families in need outside her district office in Woodhaven on Friday, Nov. 17.

Residents near Rajkumar’s district office, which is located on Woodhaven Boulevard in Woodhaven, were eager to get their hands on a free Thanksgiving turkey and undeterred by the presence of winter weather.

Assemblywoman Rajkumar’s staff gets turkeys ready to give in front of her Woodhaven office. Photo by Anthony Medina

Well before the event’s 5 p.m. start time, hundreds of residents awaited their turn at the turkey giveaway while bundled in coats and winter hats, with their folding shopping carts ready to be filled.

It wasn’t long until the line of two-plus blocks of people started moving and Rajkumar’s team needed to work double-time to keep up.

The boxes filled with turkeys were stacked on top of each other along the exterior part of the building. In a little under an hour, between ripping open the turkey boxes, bringing more up from the office’s basement freezer, and placing them in the hands of those waiting in line, all 400 turkeys were given out.

Rajkumar shared her thanks and appreciation with the crowd. Although turkey isn’t on her menu this year, Rajkumar said everyone deserves a Thanksgiving turkey and meal.

The aftermath of the giveaway nearly an hour after it began. Photo by Anthony Medina

“For giving me the opportunity to serve you every day, I want to thank you this Thanksgiving,” said Rajkumar. “I’m so proud to bring complimentary turkeys to everybody because I believe that every family deserves a feast on this holiday season,” Rajkumar said.

Earlier in the day, Rajkumar also helped the Richmond Hill – South Ozone Park Lions Club with its annual Thanksgiving turkey and grocery giveaway.

The Richmond Hill – South Ozone Park Lions Club gives turkeys, chickens, and Thanksgiving groceries to Richmond Hill residents. Photo courtesy The Richmond Hill – South Ozone Park Lions Club

Directly outside of Sophia’s Pizza at the intersection of Rockaway Boulevard and Linden Boulevard, the Richmond Hill – South Ozone Park Lions distributed 300 turkeys and chickens to neighbors. Club members also provided residents with 600 bags filled with other groceries for Thanksgiving, including canned goods and pasta.

First Vice District Governor Lion Romeo Hitlall said the group spent over $10,000 on turkeys, chickens, and groceries. With the help of 30 Lions members, Hitlall said the group truly serviced community members in need, including migrant families looking for help.

“The people that really needed it were there,” said Hitlall. “This is something that’s been going on for a few years now, so you’ll see when the people come up to the line when they’re speaking to you, you can tell that these people really need it.”

Hitlall also added how the migrant families coming for food couldn’t take with them a turkey or chicken because they didn’t have a place to cook. To solve this problem, the Lions packed separate bags full of canned and boxed goods to make up for their inability to take poultry.

“This year was the best for us,” Hitlall said.

The Richmond Hill – South Ozone Park Lions completed their 4th year of a thanksgiving food and turkey giveaway in Richmond Hill. The food was purchased from the Gitto farmers market in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy Richmond Hill – South Ozone Park Lions Club

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