Analyzing the Impact of Free Turkey Distribution in the Bronx

I want to make it clear from the outset that I harbor no animosity towards turkeys or the act of distributing them freely during the holidays. I eagerly anticipate the day when I can significantly contribute to the community by providing turkeys for meals, or even meals themselves on a larger scale, just as I have done over the years.

Reflecting on my childhood, my mother never had to request or stand in line for a free turkey. A natural hustler, she took only what was necessary for survival, prioritizing pride and self-respect above all. Providing a Thanksgiving meal for her children was her love language. Despite being on public assistance and facing financial constraints, she worked culinary miracles in the kitchen every year.

Now, let’s delve into the theory of how free turkey distribution may have inadvertently contributed to challenges in the Bronx. The underlying premise is that the increasing need for free turkeys is the destructive factor. A household-to-household analysis reveals that many families genuinely rely on these turkeys for a decent meal, not just this year but in the past and for the foreseeable future. This situation has been exacerbated by elected officials diverting resources to fulfill their objectives, maintain power, and enrich their benefactors.

I acknowledge that my words may sound harsh, but consider this: Why do politicians feel the need to distribute hundreds to thousands of turkeys in every district? Is it because we, the people, cannot afford the holiday meals we desire without their assistance? And who are those joining forces with these politicians to fund our meals?

While I have always believed in people helping people, my work with community leaders, nonprofits, and organizations focused on people’s needs has been my mission. However, to truly address the increasing need, we must collaborate more frequently, increase our numbers, and, most importantly, support those who genuinely want to help, not just seize a photo op opportunity for future votes.

I understand that your initial reaction might be unkind judgment, but let’s examine the alarming increases in weekly pantry lines, overinflated shelters, and community giveaways. We have even created our own line systems to avoid waiting specifically for free goods and established separate distributions to collect more than needed for our circle of friends in need.

My words are not meant to be negative; they are an invitation to open your minds to the problem. The individuals providing these free items may not always have our best interests at heart. The laws they pass and the work they do reflect how our day-to-day activities are affected—from the developers they collaborate with to the corporations that fund them and the number of turkeys they need to give out for your votes.

Let’s engage in a thoughtful examination of the complexities surrounding charitable actions and their broader implications on our community’s well-being. My goal in writing this is to work towards a day when we do not need their handouts to enjoy our holidays or, at a minimum, decrease those numbers.

I will leave off with this sentiment: Is anything really given to us for free?

If you have any questions or comments, please share them, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

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