Big-hearted Cardinal doles out turkeys for Thanksgiving

Nov 15, 2017, 4:40 AM | Updated: Nov 16, 2017, 8:07 am
(Photo by Tom Perumean)...
(Photo by Tom Perumean)
(Photo by Tom Perumean)
LISTEN: Cardinal Pro Bowler, Donates Turkeys, Gives Joy

For a second year, Pro Bowl safety for the Arizona Cardinals Tyrann Mathieu joined with United Food Bank to come out to the dusty edges of the East Valley to donate turkey dinners with all the trimmings to families in need.

“I grew up in inner-city New Orleans, Christmas, Thanksgiving, it was always joyful. And a lot of families…unfortunately it’s not a great time for them. I want to be a resource and hopefully be a benefit to all these families,” Mathieu said.

On Tuesday, Mathieu handed out boxed turkeys to over two-hundred families at East Mesa’s Stevenson Elementary School.

Many of the families are regular recipients of donations from UFB. But on Tuesday, the joy that Mathieu spoke about was clearly being passed to the crowd who gathered.

Troy was one of those waiting patiently in the afternoon sun with his wife and daughter, “It makes it a little bit easier, and it makes it where I can put more money toward Christmas gifts and things of that nature.”

Working out of their only food pantry, graciously provided by Stevenson Elementary School, United Food Bank works to deliver food to more than ninety thousand Arizonans across the East Valley and onto the eastern half of Arizona.

“A lot of people count on this food bank,” Fredrick Robinson said. “A lot of families around in this whole neighborhood, they’re living from bill-to-bill, paycheck-to-paycheck, so, what the food bank is doing here, I appreciate it and I know that everybody who comes to this school [to receive food donations] family wise appreciate it.”

At four in the afternoon, the turkeys started being distributed. By six, with plenty of turkeys still on hand, the food bank ran out of people.

So everyone went home happy.

As for the remaining food still on hand, Mathieu made sure it was going to those in need as well.

“[Tyrann] donates what’s left over to support our Backpack Program so kids at Galveston Elementary for the rest of the school year,” said Twanna Anderson with the food bank.

UFB’s Backpack Program sends home backpacks full of food with 95 students at Galveston so they have enough to eat over the weekends, as many of their parents can’t afford food.

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Big-hearted Cardinal doles out turkeys for Thanksgiving