Jax Services at 3845 Route 281 in Cortlandville will give away turkeys Sunday to bring a little happiness this Thanksgiving, owner Sean Smith said Tuesday.
“We do it because we feel it’s good to give back to the community,” he said. Two hundred people will get either a turkey or a gift card to a local store.
“Because of the pandemic, no one is allowed to order that many turkeys,” Smith said.
People heading to the giveaway should drive south on Route 281 from its intersection at Route 222 and enter the north entry to the business, then exit from the south entry and continue south.
The giveaway comes as the Food Bank of Central New York and the Food Bank of the Southern Tier have both seen increases in people needing food and have partnered with agencies across the region, including Cortland and Tompkins counties, to ensure families get food during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Food Bank of Central New York saw a 186% increase between March 1 to Sept. 30, compared to last year’s numbers, Lynn Hy, the chief development officer for the food bank has said. In 2020, the food bank distributed 823,325 pounds of food. In 2019, it distributed 287,875 pounds.
“The need still remains high in the county,” Hy said.
Loaves and Fishes will also be providing a free Thanksgiving meal 4 p.m. Friday at the back entrance of Grace and Holy Spirit Church on Court Street in Cortland, in a takeout-only option this year.
Another 108 families will get Thanksgiving assistance that includes receiving a turkey or a package of food items through the Food Sense program offered by the Food Bank of Central New York, said Joanne Brown-Garringer, the executive director.
Freeville United Methodist Church will have its annual Thanksgiving Day meal this year, doing takeout only, starting at 1 p.m. The meal is booked, an organizer said.