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Free turkeys, PPE and COVID-19 booster shots offered at National City drive-thru event

Turkeys, PPE and COVID-19 booster shots were all available Monday morning outside of National City’s public library. KPBS Speak City Heights reporter Jacob Aere has the details on the event, which is just in time for Thanksgiving.

After a year filled with financial hardship and health struggles due to the coronavirus, National City leaders and partner organizations provided a bundle of holiday offerings for their community.

Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis said the large lineup of cars at the drive-thru distribution proves just how needed these kinds of events are, especially over the past two holiday seasons.

“At 6 o’clock people came to sign up to get their turkeys and it was truly amazing to see," she said. "One, starting at six in the morning that people were here (shows) that the need is so great."


Besides 800 turkeys, personal protective equipment and Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots that were offered for free, there were extra gifts for households that showed proof of vaccination.

And for those yet to get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there was also a convenient option on-site.

“For those first 200 households that showed proof of vaccination, we were able to give them another little gift from Grocery Outlet,” Sotelo-Solis said. “Not only that, but being able to share, ‘Hey, if you haven't had a chance to go get it, and you’re here in line, get your turkey, park and come back to get your vaccine.'”

National City resident Ellie Galvan got a frozen turkey, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer and a COVID-19 booster shot at the event.

“I needed my booster and Kaiser (Permanente), unfortunately, doesn’t have one until January for me," she said. "So this was a blessing.”


Sotelo-Solis said this is the third annual turkey drive they've held in National City, but this year’s event is the first to offer the COVID-19 vaccine.