SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — A turkey drive different from any in the past took place Tuesday in National City where families received a COVID-19 safety kit along with their dinner. It's part of the push to ensure people practice safety guidelines during the holiday.
The National City mayor, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, alongside community leaders distributed COVID-19 safety kits during the annual free turkey giveaway for National City residents on a first-come, first-served basis.
For hours, National City residents waited in line to get a Thanksgiving turkey along with COVID-19 protection gear at the National City library on National City Boulevard. It's a reminder that city officials want to send that this year Thanksgiving should only be celebrated with people in your household with protections still in place.
There were 500 turkeys available to residents and 800 COVID-19 safety kits that included a thermometer, hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks. However, officials said the need across the South Bay is much higher than that. Studies show the South Bay and communities of color were hit especially hard by COVID-19, both on a health level and economic level.
The mayor said the the turkey giveaway is a small step to helping some of those families in need.
“We need to work together to have our abuelitas/grandmas around for next year! It is imperative that we stress to our residents, in a positive and proactive manner, with our public safety personnel and non-profit partners that it is ‘ok’ that our 2020 Thanksgiving holiday does not look like Thanksgiving as usual, Mayor Sotelo-Solis said. Our community will be gently reminded of this while receiving safety kits, goodie bags and handouts of what the purple tier guidelines are.”
The county of San Diego is still in the most restrictive purple tier and South Bay communities have already been hit especially hard. Officials including the mayor said this may be the one to re-consider spending with family. As a reminder, this turkey giveaway will look a bit different.
This comes as a partnership between National City leaders and the San Diego Latino Health Coalition. The pandemic has hit National City especially hard compared to other parts of the county, and over the last several weeks, cases across the state have increased.
National City leaders said this is the time to reconsider gathering with people outside of your household for Thanksgiving dinner. They stressed the importance of keeping your loved ones safe and said if you do gather, it's especially important to practice the safety protocols recommended by experts. That includes staying outside, six feet apart, with masks on, and no pot-luck style meals.