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Volunteers from The Lord's Kitchen, Churchill Downs Prepare for Thanksgiving Food Giveaway

| Churchill Downs Communications | 11/21/2011 #
  • Stacks of food items awaited volunteers, who placed them in food boxes for distribution on Tuesday.

  • Volunteers from The Lord's Kitchen filled food boxes for Tuesday's annual giveaway to needy families.

  • Sam Watene (right), executive director of The Lord's Kitchen, discussed event logistics with Churchill Downs' Gary Hughes.

  • Stacks of non-perishable foods awaited volunteers for placement in boxes for Tuesday's Thanksgiving giveaway.

Volunteers and staff from The Lord’s Kitchen and racetrack and corporate team members from Churchill Downs have started Thanksgiving Week beneath the historic Twin Spires with the annual task of preparing boxes of food items that will distributed with frozen turkeys during the charitable organization’s annual Thanksgiving Family Food Box Giveaway at the track on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The Thanksgiving food boxes, which contain canned goods and other non-perishable items sufficient to feed a family of four, are being assembled today by volunteers in the Paddock Pavilion, the site of Tuesday’s distribution.  Many Churchill Downs employees and officials have also donated food items for the boxes, with some track departments competing against each other for the honor of collecting the largest amount of food items donated to the annual event.

Nearly 600 families were served during the Thanksgiving Family Food Box Giveaway in 2010 and at least that many will receive frozen turkeys and boxes packed with holiday foods and trimmings this year.  The food box distribution is scheduled for 10 a.m. (all times EST) Tuesday in the track’s Paddock Pavilion.

Only those who previously registered to participate in The Lord’s Kitchen’s Thanksgiving Family Food Box Giveaway will be provided with a turkey and food box on Tuesday. There is no walk-up distribution.  Information on The Lord’s Kitchen is available online at www.theLordsKitchen.com.

The Lord’s Kitchen is located just a few blocks from Churchill Downs at 2732 South 5thStreet and has been serving needy families and residents in the neighborhood surrounding the historic home of the Kentucky Derby since Christmas Day, 1988. The organization recently expanded its mission and facilities with the opening of its City of Hope at 18th and Standard Avenue.

The 2011 renewal marks the fifth consecutive year that Churchill Downs has teamed with The Lord’s Kitchen for the holiday Family Food Box Giveaway.

“The Thanksgiving Family Food Box Giveaway is always a very special occasion for needy residents in our community that we serve 365 days a year and the volunteers who open their hearts to provide their time, service and financial support for this event,” said Sam Watene, executive director of The Lord’s Kitchen.  “Churchill Downs is both a good neighbor and important supporter of the work of The Lord’s Kitchen, and it is a joy each year to join the generous volunteers from its staff for this event that touches so many lives during a very important time.  The need among the families we serve in neighborhoods surrounding Churchill Downs and throughout our entire community continues to grow, so we thank Churchill Downs and those throughout Metro Louisville who support of our Thanksgiving  Family Food Box Giveaway and the work of The Lord’s Kitchen throughout the year.”

Additional volunteers to serve meals at The Lord’s Kitchen on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are needed. Those interested in volunteering or donating food for other holiday programs at The Lord’s Kitchen should call (502) 964-3304, ext. 1250.