Community Leaders Work Together to Host a Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway


DES MOINES, Iowa– In 2017,  two friends, Rob Johnson and Robert Presswood, sat in Platinum Kutz Barbershop in Des Moines, and casually came up with the idea to feed those in need on Thanksgiving in central Iowa. 

Three years later, that idea has blossomed to be the Turkey Thanksgiving Giveaway, a growing staple event in the Des Moines community. 

“I’ve built some relationships in the community with the banks and a good friend of mine, a pastor of a major church in Ames,” Co-creator of the event, Robert Presswood said. “We all came together to make this a bit bigger.” 

This year, the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway was a drive up event. Volunteers served uncooked and cooked turkeys in addition to Thanksgiving meals. 

Johnson and Presswood were able to give out 150 turkeys and more than 50 meal packages to those  in need. The duo garnered help from community leaders and organizations, such as the Friendship Baptist Church in Ames, Iowa and Two Rivers Bank. 

Volunteers at the event stressed how important it was to serve those who’ve faced financial barriers during the pandemic or might be celebrating the holiday alone. 

Johnson said he hopes this event inspires more Iowans to consider serving more during the holidays. 

“If we can make sure that everybody doesn’t have to buy a turkey one year, in this city, that would be amazing,” Johnson said. “This is about community.” 


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