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Cars line up for thousands of free turkeys at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk

The Salvation Army teamed up with shipping company, CMA CGM, to make sure families have something to eat on Thanksgiving.

NORFOLK, Va. — There is a massive turkey giveaway happening in Norfolk, this morning. It started at 8 a.m. and will end at 2 p.m. or until teams run out of turkeys.

The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command teamed up with shipping company CMA CGM to make it happen.

Before the sun fully rose over Norfolk, hundreds of people had already lined up at Military Circle Mall to get their free bird.

"I was shocked," said Ed Aldridge, president of CMA CGM & APL North America."I got here a little bit before 7 o'clock this morning and I came down the road here and I said, 'Oh my God are we going to make it to the second shift?'"

Teams worked to unload two thousand frozen turkeys from a semi-trailer and load them into the cars of waiting families.

"I can't tell you how many turkeys I picked up this morning," Aldridge said. "A couple of hundred at least but what a great effort."

CMA CGM donated the birds, and the Salvation Army helped coordinate the donation drive.

Salvation Army Area Commander Major Donald Dohmann said food donation drives like this one are critical as families continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

I've been with the salvation army for 17 years and we've seen a lot of different situations and reasons why someone is in a crisis. And now we are looking at this pandemic and there are many in a crisis and they're in a position they haven't been in before," Dohmann said.

"Even something as small as a turkey can make a big difference for families this year."

The massive turkey giveaway is part of CMA CGM's Giving Across America Thanksgiving initiative to feed more than 35,000 people across the nation.

The group is donating 10,000 turkeys and thousands of meals to different charities in the U.S.

Aldrige said it's all a part of his company's effort to give back.

"I love it," he said. "I love to be out here with my teammates. I love to be out here helping people."


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