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Morongo tribe’s Thanksgiving giveaway is 10,000 turkeys big this year

By in Press Enterprise on November 15, 2017

By Staff report

Those who will enjoy 200,000 turkey meals this Thanksgiving can thank the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.

For the 32nd year, the tribe is giving out the birds to help feed the needy across Southern California.

This week, volunteers helped the tribe distribute 10,000 free turkeys that will make more than 200,000 holiday meals.

On Tuesday, Nov. 14, and Wednesday, Nov. 15, tribal members and volunteers gathered at the Morongo Community Center to help package the turkeys for 102 non-profit organizations, churches, food pantries, schools, veteran groups and homeless shelters.

The recipients stretch from Banning, Beaumont, Riverside, San Bernardino, Lake Elsinore, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Mecca, Los Angeles and other communities in Southern California.

Groups that will receive turkeys include Carol’s Kitchen in Banning, Martha’s Village in Indio, the Rock Church in San Bernardino and Hope Food Bank in San Jacinto.

To receive turkeys, the groups applied to the tribe and learned over the summer that they were chosen.

“At Morongo, we have always strived to help others, even as our own tribe struggled to survive,” Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said in a news release. “Giving is a part of who we are, and we feel fortunate to be able to help others in need this holiday season.”

A volunteer tags turkeys Tuesday, Nov. 14, as part of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ 32nd annual Thanksgiving Outreach Program.

BY THE NUMBERS

32: Years of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians have staged its Thanksgiving Outreach program

102: Nonprofit organizations, churches, food pantries, schools, veterans groups and homeless shelters across Southern California that got turkeys

350: Turkeys given to local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other military support groups

10,000: Free turkeys given by Morongo in 2017

200,000: Meals made from the turkeys

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