Burlington, Vt – Community members in Burlington were getting into the holiday spirit this weekend. The Queen City Saints hosted their 12th annual Turkey Drive to help families facing food access barriers.

While most people were out prepping for the upcoming holiday, Queen City Saints co-founders Megan Frenzan and Jerica Diziki were at the Intervale Food Hub in Burlington for their ‘Flip Hunger the Bird’ Turkey Drive.

The event benefits families in need this holiday season, with a goal of 1,000 turkeys to be donated to both Feeding Chittenden – a local low-barrier food shelf – and the Intervale’s Fair Share Program.

“To hand a turkey over and then to have programs that are as great as Feeding Chittenden and Fair Share that can then distribute those resources to families in need, it works out very well.” says co-owner Megan Frenzen.

Frenzen says the volunteer based organization was founded almost exactly 12 years ago after she heard a radio ad that Feeding Chittenden had put on air, saying they were about 2,000 turkeys short of their goal.

Calling on the help of friends and family, Frenzen had a plan to help the organization now known as Feeding Chittenden meet their goal.

“My husband and I put out pick-up truck in the driveway and asked everyone to come throw frozen turkeys in it and we raised 100 turkeys,” says Frenzen.

It was through this act that Queen City Saints was created.

“The winter time is historically a time when people struggle the most getting through,” says Hannah Baxter, Food Access Manager at the Intervale Food Hub.

Baxter says that the Fair Share program has been in operation for about a decade. It was in 2019 that they started looking to expand their offerings to the community. She says coordinating a Thanksgiving version of their Fair Share basket was a natural next step.

In partnership with Queen City Saints, the Fair Share program offers a big bag of seasonal veggies, perfect for a Thanksgiving meal, in addition to a turkey or turkey breast.

The ‘Flip Hunger the Bird’ drive is sponsored by a handful of local businesses, including American Flatbread. They were at the event giving out pizza to those who donated.

“We’ve always been a strong proponent of community. Especially coming around the holiday season for us and our position, we love to do things like this we we can.”

Frenzen urges everyone who is in a position to donate this year to do so.

“Even the smallest amounts really add up to making a big difference for really deserving families.”