UTICA, N.Y. -- Hundreds of Utica city residents lined Bleecker St. to pick up their thanksgiving meal during the Utica Food Pantry's Annual Turkey Giveaway.
This year, over 1,000 turkeys were given away, as well as non-perishable foods given away by local grocery stores such as Hannafords.
"Not only do they do the job of saving lives.. but they're also helping people be able to have a good meal on the table that can't afford it," Utica resident, Gregory Welch said.
In addition to the turkey giveaway, the food pantry partnered with the State Assembly's office to bring covid vaccines into the equation.
This year, people could go to the Utica Fire Central Station and get any of the three major vaccines as first, second, or even booster dosage. The Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year olds was also available.
Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon says she was happy they were able to make this work and the reaction to it was something she didn't expect.
"We were not even at 10 am yet and we've already had, I think, seven or eight booster shots provided. I think when you say the word thanksgiving, It's a time to be thankful and give and that's what this community does," Assemblywoman Buttenschon said.
When the day was over, dozens of people received a vaccine To Brooks, that's a positive because the recent surge of covid cases affects those who attended the giveaway today the most.
"I view some of this crowd as a high risk crowd, so I'm glad that they have the opportunity to get vaccinated," Brooks said.