University's Turkey Project Helps Feed 1,350 Local Families

Volunteers carry turkeys to their recipients during the Turkey Project.

The Drexel Alumni Association hosted the 43rd annual Holiday Turkey Project on Dec. 15, gathering dozens of volunteers from the Drexel community to help deliver turkeys to 1,350 families in the West Philadelphia area.

This year’s event served 40 community-based organizations and initiatives, including People’s Emergency Center, Drexel’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, the West Philadelphia Coalition of Neighborhoods and Businesses and the office of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. Despite the fact that the event occurred on the coldest day of the season thus far, more than 80 volunteers turned up to help distribute turkeys to the community groups as part of the longest-running alumni tradition at the University.

In addition to the turkeys, the Turkey Project raised $30,000 from alumni, staff and students, with donations still coming in, according to event organizer David Lanza, the associate director of alumni relations in the Office of Institutional Advancement. The initiative also received more than $400 from Chipotle Mexican Grill after a Dec. 8 fundraiser. 

“The Turkey Project was a huge success this year,” said Lanza. “We were able to serve more families in need thanks to the generosity of our alumni, staff and students. I’m extremely proud of the Drexel community's commitment to this initiative.”

Among the families who received turkeys are the elderly, those with HIV/AIDS, individuals struggling with food and housing insecurity, victims of domestic violence and individuals currently in transitional housing.