Royal Caribbean donates 5,000 turkeys to National Food Task Force

Bahamas Feeding Network Executive Director Philip Smith receives shipment of 5,000 turkeys donated by Royal Caribbean to the National Food Distribution Task Force which asked the Feeding Network to handle distribution throughout New Providence and Grand Bahama. Turkeys were shared with Bahamas Red Cross, Hands for Hunger and Lend A Hand in addition to all the areas that the Feeding Network supplies and Grand Bahama. (Photo by Cay Focus Photography for DP&A)

Royal Caribbean Group donated 5,000 turkeys to the National Food Distribution Task Force dressed with a message wishing every recipient happy and healthy holidays. “We are so grateful for this generous donation by Royal Caribbean,” said task force Chair Susan Larson. “These are challenging times and we want to touch as many homes as we can so donations like this make it possible for us to stretch our resources most effectively.”

The Bahamas Feeding Network, which moved its operations to a large warehouse when the COVID-19 pandemic began, is tasked with distribution of the 20-pound birds that arrived today. More than 1,000 will be shipped to Grand Bahama where many residents continue to deal with the aftermath of a double whammy, hit first by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and six months later, by the economic freefall of the pandemic that drove tourism down and unemployment up.

“We understand that this quantity of quality turkeys was so scarce that when Royal Caribbean tried to source them, they found them only in one place, at a farm in Ohio, and then they had to bid against another country. They won the bid, fighting hard for The Bahamas. That was really moving,” said Philip Smith, Bahamas Feeding Network executive director. “Every one of these 5,000 turkeys will go to a church, soup or feeding centre kitchen where they will be cooked and distributed as part of a full holiday meal in communities throughout New Providence and Grand Bahama. This gift could make the difference between a family going hungry or having a Christmas they will always remember. This is further proof of Royal Caribbean’s commitment to The Bahamas and the closeness of the company to the issues that matter in our hearts.”

Royal Carrriibbean Donate’s Turkey to BFN

“We know that the impact of the pandemic has been so far-reaching and tragic, and we are happy to bring some holiday cheer,” said Russell Benford, vice president, government affairs, Royal Caribbean Group. “Being able to support those who might need a helping hand is what the holiday season is all about.”

Royal Caribbean’s gift would not have been possible without support from Arawak Port Development, United Shipping and Carey’s Customs Brokers, all of whom aided in the delivery of the 139,000 pounds of poultry to tables -─ minus local fees ─ and without compromising refrigeration, transportation or distribution protocols.