The spirit of Thanksgiving was on full display Monday as the Tyrod Taylor Family Foundation and associates from the Hampton Kroger came together at Darling Stadium to distribute 400 Thanksgiving meals to Hampton Roads families.
The annual event was created a few years ago by NFL quarterback and Hampton native Taylor, who plays for the New York Giants. Redell Spinks, Taylor’s representative, said that Taylor “always had a heart for the community and using his platform to give back in any way possible.”
Cars started lining up around the stadium as early as 7:30 a.m. to get a chance to bring home a Thanksgiving meal, according to Spinks. The distribution was a drive-through process, with volunteers handing the food to the drivers once they pulled up.
Hampton resident Dani Hogan said the line went so far back and curved around so many streets that drivers were confused. Despite this, she said she was happy about the event. She said she’s a single mother of four and couldn’t afford a Thanksgiving meal.
“I’m ecstatic that they have it,” she said. “I just happened to see it on the news. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, that answers my prayers.’”
Cynthia Willingham said while waiting in line to pick up food for herself and her family that she thought the event was great for the local community and that many people need such events to provide for their families.
Kroger provided the turkeys and the other items to complete the holiday meals, including green beans, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie.
“We just appreciate being involved with the community,” said James Menees, Kroger’s corporate affairs manager, who was helping give out food. “We’ve been in Hampton for a long time and know that it’s important to give back.”
Trina and Rodney Taylor, Tyrod’s parents and Hampton residents, helped give out meals too.
“It’s a blessing to be able to see so many people, but at the same time, it’s sad to see so many people in need,” said Trina Taylor. “We wish we could do more. But you know, it feels good to be able to give back. We always say, community is unity.”
Rodney said he loved seeing “the spirit of giving in a time when people really need it in today’s world, with inflation going high.”
Tyrod Taylor wasn’t in Hampton Monday because he’s busy with the football season — the Giants have a game on Thanksgiving Day. In a news release, Taylor said the Hampton community is “very family oriented” and hopes the Turkey Drive “brings an impactful level of support to those truly in need of the assistance.”
Josh Janney, email@example.com