INDIANAPOLIS – Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport came through another win on Tuesday, with its fifth annual “Turkey Give” with team partners Butterball, DHL and Kroger.
Butterball donated nearly 750 whole turkeys and Kroger chipped in 1,000 boxes of stuffing. Coordinating the effort with the Midwest Food Bank, the food was loaded into DHL delivery vans and taken to four central Indiana locations. They will be distributed there to families in need to help make Thanksgiving a little brighter.
“It’s about giving back,” said Kerry Doughty, Butterball CEO, “for those of us that are fortunate to be able to give back to people that are less fortunate. We don’t talk about the need for food as much as we should. One in five children go to bed hungry at night here, one in seven adults.
“So there is a food crisis, around the holidays especially. I’m from Indiana, and I love giving back to the community I grew up in.”
This marked the fifth straight year that Andretti Autosport and its partners held the turkey giveaway. Hunter-Reay takes pride in participating annually.
“It’s just great giving back to the community,” the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series and 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion said. “This community gives so much to us. This is an opportunity for us – one of many ways that we can give back to our community here in Indianapolis.”
John Whitaker, executive director of Midwest Food Bank, said that one million Indiana residents are food insecure – including 350,000 children – meaning they aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from. While Tuesday’s turkey giveaway will make a small dent in the problem, he expressed the need for everyone who is able to pitch in year-round.
“For over a million people in our community, they don’t think about Thanksgiving the same way we do,” Whitaker said. “They think about just trying to get through the day, they think about children that are hungry that they can’t feed.
“In a country that’s full of wealth and food that surrounds all of us in the state of Indiana, it’s a sad statement and, quite frankly, a moral failure when we don’t take care of our families in need in Indiana.”
DHL has sponsored Hunter-Reay’s No. 28 entry in the Verizon IndyCar Series since 2011. Malcolm Dwyer, a director for the global logistics company, said that social responsibility is an important part of the DHL fabric, which makes participating in the annual turkey giveaway an easy decision.
“The central Indiana community has been a gracious host for us for a number of years, and just to be able to give back to this community is something that means a lot to us,” Dwyer said. “Whether it be looking at ways to reduce our carbon emissions or giving back to the communities in programs such as this, it really does mean a lot. It forms an integral part of our corporate culture.”