BY SCOTT STIFFLER | In the same month that saw polling places open for several days in advance of the General Election, another notable date on the November calendar got the early bird treatment, when Chelsea citizens flocked to four local pilgrimage sites.
Tuesday, November 15—nine days before Thanksgiving—thousands of plump, oven-bound, born-to-be-basted turkeys were delivered to the distribution points of Elliott-Chelsea Houses, Hudson Guild, Fulton Houses, and Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. This year’s observance of the annual tradition saw reps from Jamestown joined by a Google/Chelsea Market continent as well as local elected officials (NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, first-term NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher, and newly elected NYS Assembly Member Tony Simone) and Fulton Houses/Elliott-Chelsea Houses tenant leadership (Miguel Acevedo and Darlene Waters, respectively).
The bird count was a whopping 1,500 this year—several hundred more than usual, in response to an uncertain supply chain impacted by increased demand (fewer COVID concerns, more dinners planned), inflation, and avian flu. A Nov. 14, 2022 report from CNN noted “The U.S. Department of Agriculture says turkeys are 23% more expensive compared to 2021. . . As a result, shoppers are looking to secure their holiday birds much earlier than usual.”
Not to worry: The turkeys handed out on Tuesday came with no price tag—unless you count the inevitable debate about cranberry sauce that the presence of Thanksgiving’s marquee set piece seems to attract. But that’s strictly kitchen talk. The scene was all smiles and goodwill at Fulton Houses and Holy Apostles, where the photos for this report were taken.
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