Hunger During Holidays: Food Bank Virtual Turkey Drive Begins in Southern Tier

The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family, make memories and build on traditions, and give thanks often around a table filled with an abundance of food. For thousands of Southern Tier residents, however, holiday dinner does not exist and so many face an empty table as the holiday season begins.

The past couple of years have provided many challenges. According to a press release provided by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, one in eight adults and one in five children were facing food insecurity and risk of hunger before the pandemic. Since March 2020, the need has been even greater, and the Food Bank’s 165 community partners across a six-county service area in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins Counties have worked to distribute food to all those in need.

No one should go hungry during the holidays. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier recently announced it launched its 12th Annual Virtual Turkey Drive going on now through November 25. Supporting the Virtual Turkey Drive helps put a full turkey dinner—including a turkey, all the sides, and dessert—on the tables of community members across the Southern Tier. Donating to the Virtual Turkey Drive is easy. Visit and donate any amount; every dollar makes a difference. This year, the goal is to reach $60,000 in donations. Additionally, Tioga Downs Casino Resort has once again partnered with the Food Bank through generous donation-matching sponsorship.

The Food Bank’s Virtual Turkey Drive aims to give everyone in the Southern Tier an abundant Thanksgiving and winter holiday meal and stock the shelves for the holiday season and beyond. This year donations will also help overcome rising food costs, including for holiday turkeys.

In the press release, Natasha Thompson, President & CEO of the Food Bank said, “Our Virtual Turkey Drive is a key part of holiday food distribution, as holiday meals are so important to everyone. We all have memories of sitting around the holiday meal table. But many across the Southern Tier simply must shift their resources to more pressing needs. Your generous support helps us fill in the gap and put a bountiful holiday meal on the table for many of our neighbors. Thank you!”