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1,000 turkey giveaway and health fair set for Nov. 12

Dry goods packaged at the San Diego Food Bank for Turkey Distribution.jpg
Melissa Mae
Pallets of dry goods at the San Diego Food Bank are labeled with Dr. Akilah Weber's name for the 79th Assembly District Annual Turkey Giveaway and Health Fair taking place on Saturday. Photo taken Nov. 10, 2022.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and on Saturday, 1,000 turkeys will be given away at the 79th Assembly District Annual Turkey Giveaway and Health Fair.

The turkeys will be distributed at the Jackie Robinson YMCA starting at 10 a.m, courtesy of The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.

The annual event was started by Shirley Weber when she was the assembly member for the area. Now the tradition is carried on by her daughter, Assembly Member Dr. Akilah Weber, D-79.


“It was so important this year because this has been a tough year for families,” said Angela de Joseph, senior field representative for Assembly Member Weber. “We know that with inflation and the cost of groceries being sky high, it was hard for a lot of families, especially around holiday times. ”

Casey Castillo, CEO of the San Diego Food Bank, said this is a critical time for the families they serve.

“We’re so grateful for our amazing community partners that allow us and help us provide so many turkeys out in the community during Thanksgiving,” Castillo said.

The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal comes at a high cost this year.

“The cost of turkeys has substantially gone up, (in) large part because of the avian flu. There’s a shortage of turkeys,” Castillo said. “We saw some increases (of) 10, 15, 20% or more, depending on when we were purchasing them. Right now, the average cost of a turkey is about $30.”   


Turkeys are being distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and people can start lining up at 9 a.m. to receive turkeys and more.

“(We'll have) fresh produce and pantry staples, so you’ll have lots of foods and fixings to go along with your turkey dinner and carry you through the next couple months,” de Joseph said.    

The community event also includes a health fair, with 40 vendors and a DJ.

“(You can) have your blood sugar checked, your blood pressure checked, your kidneys checked and we’ve got a workout station and we’ve got gyms there to get your exercise on,” de Joseph said.

Free mammograms will also be offered on site, in addition de Joseph continued. “Also we have an eye clinic for children. So we have a truck where children can get their eyes examined, and if necessary, they will be getting free glasses.”

There will also be information booths where people can sign up for CalFresh or Covered California. Flu and COVID-19 vaccines will also be available.

The event is taking place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.