AUBURN GRESHAM — The Black McDonald’s Operators Association of Chicago and Northwest Indiana will spread some holiday cheer ahead of Thanksgiving by giving away free frozen turkeys and side items beginning Thursday.
Two Chicago locations — in Auburn-Gresham, at 7601 S. Vincennes Ave., and Austin, 5015 W. Madison Ave. — will host events beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday. They’ll each hand out 500 turkeys until supplies run out.
This year marks the fourth year the Food For the Body & Spirit program, a program that aims to serve people in need, has given away frozen turkeys. Turkeys are slated to weigh 12-14 pounds this year.
Some 2,000 frozen turkeys will be given away at events held at four locations around the Chicago area. The events will also be held:
- at 8 a.m. Friday at 4239 W. 167th St., Country Club Hills
- at 8 a.m. Saturday at 3639 169th St., Hammond, Ind.
This year, the first 50 veterans who can show proof of veteran status will have the opportunity to skip the line at the giveaways.
McDonald’s owner and operator Doris Boulrece, a member of Black McDonald’s Operators Association of Chicagoland and chairwoman of Food For the Body & Spirit, said the turkey giveaways are just one way the association serves the community year round, she said.
“Every year we have had lines wrapped around the block,” Boulrece said. “Residents faithfully begin lining up in the early morning so we fully expect to give away every turkey at each location.”
This year, the owners’ association will not be accepting food donations, but it encouraged people to donate to their local food pantry.
Because Veterans Day falls so closely to the turkey giveaways, the owners’ association wanted to make sure it honored the troops, Boulrece said.
“The [Black McDonald’s Operators Association] is an organization that has always had veterans as members and we still do today,” Boulrece said. “We honor the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces and also recognize that they are a population we should support here in the city as well as in the areas of Indiana we service.”
The Food For the Body & Spirit program has evolved over the years from a prayer breakfast with local churches where hot meals were served to a service that includes turkey giveaways, coat giveaways and health screenings, Bourlece said.
For more information visit www.BMOAChicagoland.org.