By Joe Mauceri
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn — The line outside the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger stretched all the way down Fulton Street Monday afternoon — hundreds waited in line to get a Thanksgiving meal for their families.
“Very excited that I’m getting a turkey,” Betty Gene of Bed-Stuy said. “It will help my family out a lot.”
Thanks to a massive donation from Key Food, that turkey will accompany the stuffing, vegetables, and everything else needed for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The volunteers who helped pack the pantry, well they weren’t your normal stock boys.
The entire Brooklyn Nets team came out for the event, so there was no trouble reaching the items on the top shelf.
“I mean we’re out there representing Brooklyn every single night so it’s just a good feeling to go out there and give back,” Nets guard Shane Larkin said.
“Beautiful. I appreciate this so much to know that you guys think about us with Thanksgiving coming up,” Daphne Williams of Bed-Stuy said.
Each month, the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger provides meals for 30,000 New Yorkers. During the holiday season that number jumps to 50,000. Even with donations, like the one from Key Food, Doctor Melony Samuels said it’s tough to meet the demand.
“Some of the shelves are missing now, but on a given day we stock the shelves three times per day and it’s gone,” Samuels said.
But for at least one day the fridge will be full for hundreds of families in need. Families also had a minute to enjoy hanging out with some of their favorite NBA players.
“We’re having a great time here, the kids are enjoying themselves and this is good that they’re doing this for the community,” Gene said.
And the families aren’t the only ones who are thankful.
“It’s cool man,” Nets guard Jarrett Jack said.
“I think most of us come from inner-city type backgrounds, have that same type of makeup. And to be inserted here and come by and help lift their holiday spirit is a tremendous thing. I think this is a part of being an NBA player that doesn’t get old that you don’t take for granted at all.”