St. Mary’s donates holiday turkeys

250 birds to Food Bank of NE Ga

Just before Thanksgiving, St. Mary’s Health Care System and its colleagues and volunteers donated 250 turkeys – weighing about 4,000 pounds – to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia and the Greene County Food Pantry to help families in need this holiday season.

Each year, St. Mary’s partners with its food service provider, Metz Culinary, to give a free turkey to each colleague and volunteer as a token of appreciation for their dedication and service. During the weeks before Thanksgiving, St. Mary’s leaders personally hand out frozen turkeys at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia, and St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro, as well as at ancillary facilities in Athens, Bogart and Watkinsville.

St. Mary’s makes it easy for colleagues to donate their turkey to those in need, if they wish to do so, by letting Human Resources know they want to donate their turkey or by simply not picking it up. The Food Bank and Food Pantry pick up the donated turkeys in time to distribute them to families in need before the holiday.

“Every year I’m amazed and moved by the number of colleagues who choose to donate their turkey,” said Montez Carter, St. Mary’s President and CEO. “We are keenly aware that the pandemic has left many people struggling with food insecurity. We’re thrilled that so many colleagues and volunteers love getting these turkeys, and we’re just as thrilled that so many donate them to help others who are in need. It’s a true testament to our commitment to our core values.”

Of the 250 turkeys donated, 192 went to the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia from St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens and St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia.

“St. Mary’s has gone above and beyond guiding and serving our region through unprecedented challenges to our public health, which is an incredible feat alone,” said Erin Barger, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia CEO. “They have gone the extra mile on behalf of our neighbors to bless hundreds of families through the donation of turkeys for Thanksgiving.”

Barger noted that the Food Bank continues to see higher-than-normal need. “God bless all of you and thank you for working through the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to work toward ending food insecurity in Northeast Georgia,” she added.

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