Biscayne Bay Kiwanis distributes Thanksgiving meals to families

Biscayne Bay Kiwanis distributes Thanksgiving meals to families

The Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club (, one of South Florida’s most active community service organizations, donated complete Thanksgiving Day meals — and more — to 150 families from five different inner-city elementary schools.

Conducted just two days before Thanksgiving, the giveaway took place at Phillis Wheatley Elementary, one of the Kiwanis Clubs’ partner schools. The 2017 event — featuring more than two tons of food — was the second year for the giveaway and doubled the number of meals distributed in 2016.

“Based upon the success — and popularity — of last year’s event, we decided to significantly expand the Giveaway in 2017,” said Biscayne Bay Kiwanis president Carmen Calzon, who initiated the program last year. “We saw a need to feed more people, and when there’s a need, the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis respond.”

Thirty families from each of the five schools — Douglass, Wheatley, Dunbar, Morningside and Santa Clara — were selected by the administrators of their respective schools to receive the meals in a “grocery store” type setting. Families walked into the room, were given an empty bag, donated by Publix, and “shopped” around the room with the help of one of the club members.

In addition to a 10- to 12-pound turkey, each family received a wide variety of foods, including a box of stuffing; a 10-pound bag of potatoes; two pounds of carrots; three pounds of onions; cans of corn, green beans, and tuna; spaghetti; a bag of Raman Noodles; jar of peanut butter, and bread donated by Pinecrest Bakery.

“Because many of these families have students on free breakfast and lunch, it was important to give these families more than just the Thanksgiving Day basics,” said Biscayne Bay Kiwanis president-elect Kellie Gayoso. “These families were selected by the administrators based upon need and providing this wide variety of food was a way of making sure they got good, healthy food over the Thanksgiving break when they wouldn’t be in school.”

Since its founding in 1950, the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis Club — an all-volunteer service organization of professional men and women based in Downtown Miami — has improved the lives of disadvantaged children in Overtown, Allapattah and Midtown Miami through educational programs, field trips, and hands on service projects.

For more information about the Biscayne Bay Kiwanis or to join in one of their community service projects, text or phone the club at 305-814-2225.

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