Royal Caribbean donates 5,000 turkeys to National Food Distribution Task Force

Royal Caribbean donates 5,000 turkeys to National Food Distribution Task Force
Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) Executive Director Philip Smith receives a shipment of 5,000 turkeys donated by Royal Caribbean to the National Food Distribution Task Force, which asked BFN to handle distribution throughout New Providence and Grand Bahama. (PHOTO: CAY FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DPA)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Royal Caribbean Group donated 5,000 turkeys to the National Food Distribution Task Force, dressed with a message wishing every recipient happy and healthy holidays.

Task force chair Susan Larson said: “We are so grateful for this generous donation by Royal Caribbean. These are challenging times and we want to touch as many homes as we can, so donations like this make it possible for us to stretch our resources most effectively.”

The Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN), which moved its operations to a large warehouse when the COVID-19 pandemic began, is tasked with distribution of the 20-pound birds that arrived yesterday.

More than 1,000 will be shipped to Grand Bahama, where many residents continue to deal with the aftermath of a double whammy, hit first by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and six months later by the economic free fall of the pandemic that drove tourism down and unemployment up.

BFN Executive Director said: “We understand that this quantity of quality turkeys was so scarce that when Royal Caribbean tried to source them, they found them only in one place, at a farm in Ohio, and then they had to bid against another country.

“They won the bid, fighting hard for The Bahamas. That was really moving.

Royal Caribbean Group’s donation of 139,000 pounds of turkey being unloaded for distribution around the country. (PHOTO: CAY FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DPA)

“Every one of these 5,000 turkeys will go to a church, soup or feeding center kitchen where they will be cooked and distributed as part of a full holiday meal in communities throughout New Providence and Grand Bahama.

“This gift could make the difference between a family going hungry or having a Christmas they will always remember. This is further proof of Royal Caribbean’s commitment to The Bahamas and the closeness of the company to the issues that matter in our hearts.”

Royal Caribbean Group Vice President of Government Affairs Russell Benford noted: “We know that the impact of the pandemic has been so far-reaching and tragic, and we are happy to bring some holiday cheer.

“Being able to support those who might need a helping hand is what the holiday season is all about.”

Royal Caribbean’s gift would not have been possible without support from Arawak Port Development, United Shipping and Carey’s Customs Brokers, all of whom aided in the delivery of the 139,000 pounds of poultry to tables — minus local fees — and without compromising refrigeration, transportation or distribution protocols.