By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Hundreds of families in Coney Island and other low-income neighborhoods who do not have the financial means to make a traditional Thanksgiving meal were given a helping hand by a group of Democratic elected officials on Monday.
Councilman Dominic Recchia, state Sen. Diane Savino, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries co-hosted a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway at the Marlboro Houses in Coney Island to enable underprivileged families cook a holiday meal on Thursday.
The giveaway, which the lawmakers host every year, provided hundreds of turkeys to organizations and individuals throughout southern Brooklyn who are in need of help during the holiday season.
The event was supported by donations from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500, KeyFood, A&S Pork Store, Jetro, Costco and ShopRite, Recchia said.
"The holidays are a time for giving thanks, but also a time for giving back," said Recchia, who is chairman of the council’s Finance Committee. “My colleagues and I came together to help our communities have the Thanksgiving they deserve. We are honored to serve in the spirit of this great tradition," he said.
Pat Purcell, director of political and legislative affairs for the UFCW, said the union’s members donated a portion of their union dues to the turkey distribution organized by Recchia because they believe strongly in giving back to the community. “Our members not only work in these communities, they live there. Many of these communities have been hit hard, not just by the economy, but by Hurricane Sandy and there are people out there in need. We do what we can to help,” Purcell told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Coney Island sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy last year. Many residents whose homes were destroyed are still struggling to get back on their feet, according to local officials.
Lawmakers of all political stripes spent Monday donating turkeys to Brooklyn-based charities and religious organizations that feed the hungry. Metro New York reported that http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/local/2013/11/26/thanksgiving-food-give... Borough President Marty Markowitz and an army of volunteers delivered 1,000 turkeys to civic organizations all over Brooklyn for distribution to families in need.
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-southern Brooklyn) had his staff members crisscrossing his senate district delivering free turkeys.
Liam McCabe, an aide to U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C-Brooklyn-Staten Island), was also very busy that day. McCabe made the rounds, stopping at several locations to deliver turkeys. He dropped off five turkeys to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society at Saint Finbar Church in Bath Beach for the society’s Turkey Day food distribution at the church.
McCabe told the Eagle that “seeing the smiles on the faces of the children” made it all worthwhile for him.