Thousands of people in need showed up, but many left empty handed, Friday morning. People lined up at the Fresno Fairgrounds in hopes of receiving a free turkey meal. Many had been in line since 2:00 a.m.
“We're trying to get together with the community to know that we are out here to support them and this is how we do it by having a resource fair and food distribution,” explained organizer, Yvette Roberts.
Several organizations hosted the event. Organizers say food donations have been extremely low this year. They only had 200 turkeys, perishable items and produce for 2,000 people and 75 grocery gift cards.
“We did not expect this many people to show. We were expecting a thousand, but before we got here at eight o'clock there was a line all the way down from Chance to Butler, and from Butler to Maple,” said Roberts.
The doors opened at 10:00 a.m. Everything was gone about an hour and a half later. Volunteers say some of them even used their own money to buy additional gift cards to give out. Still, thousands left disappointed. But many didn't let it dampen their spirits. Fresno resident Joanne Nowlan said, “There are some other places that are going to give out free turkeys to so we'll see. God provides.”
Free flu shots and health screenings were also given at the Community Resource Fair. More than 50 agencies participated.