Dozens of volunteers from The Lord’s Kitchen, Churchill Downs (“CD”) and parent company Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI”) gathered at the historic home of the Kentucky Derby on Tuesday, Nov. 20 to distribute frozen turkeys and boxes brimming with holiday trimmings as more than 650 needy families were served in the annual Thanksgiving Food Box Giveaway.
The more than 650 frozen turkeys and boxes filled with holiday foods were distributed to families who had registered prior to the event with The Lord’s Kitchen. The total was the largest number of holiday meals distributed in the six years since Churchill Downs first joined its neighbor as host of the Thanksgiving Food Box Giveaway.
The original Lord’s Kitchen is located a few blocks from Churchill Downs at 2732 South 5th Street 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 to include the City of Hope at 18th and Standard Avenue.
“This is our last Thanksgiving before The Lord’s Kitchen celebrates its 25th anniversary, so to see the community come together like this is very exciting,” said Naomi Whitehouse, the director of the City of Hope Recovery Center who oversaw Tuesday’s food box giveaway for the Lord’s Kitchen. “I love the fact that we and Churchill Downs have become great partners. It’s been six years, and I think it’s getting better every year.”
“This is always a great day for the Churchill Downs family as it presents an opportunity to give something back to our community at a very special time of the year,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs. “Our team and volunteers from The Lord’s Kitchen are pitching together for area families that need a little bit of help right now. It’s our hope that this partnership and the food that will be going on family tables throughout our neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day will help brighten the holiday for all.”
Churchill Downs and CDI volunteers participate with team members from the Lord’s Kitchen throughout the process of gathering and distributing food in the annual Thanksgiving Food Box Giveaway. Racetrack and corporate employees donate food items along with volunteering their time for the event, and some departments conduct friendly internal competitions to see which team can generate the largest food donations. Volunteers gathered at the track on Monday to assemble and fill the food boxes for Tuesday’s distribution, and the frozen turkeys were delivered Tuesday morning.
Information on The Lord’s Kitchen and the City of Hope is available at www.thelordskitchen.com.