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Close to 1,400 flock for free turkeys, hams at Franciscan Center

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Contact the Franciscan Center at 744-3977 to help plan a Turkey Tuesday drive or visit to make an online donation.

Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 5:27 am

The Franciscan Center announces Wednesday that it served nearly 1,400 families at its annual “Turkey Tuesday,” held each year the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

“Our largest usage day for our Food Pantry is always the Tuesday before Thanksgiving,” explained Tony Ley, executive director of the Franciscan Center in a news release, “while we may average 450 families a week during the year, based upon experience we fully expect to more than triple that number on one day.”

As in previous years, center relied completely on donations to provide the turkeys and hams it distributed to clients. “We are truly blessed by the community,” Ley said. “We again managed to have just enough of what we needed to distribute to every family."

The event began in 2007 with 770 families served. Last year about 1,400 were served.

The Franciscan Center, 4643 Gaywood Drive, runs a food pantry, medicine cabinet and sack lunch ministry with more than 72,000 client connections annually.

The Franciscan Center encourages businesses, classrooms, youth groups, scouting groups, and prayer groups to plan a Turkey Tuesday drive of their own for 2013. Drives can be for actual turkeys and hams, or can be for money to purchase turkeys and hams.