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Thanksgiving turkeys and more: Mayflower Marathon kicks off 26th year

The three day food drive started November 18 with multiple big donations from local organizations.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The work did not stop for volunteers at Pembroke Square in Virginia Beach as they collected and packed up food donations Friday morning.

“This is like our Super Bowl as a Foodbank,” said Christopher Tan, the CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

The 26th Annual Mayflower Marathon began with volunteers cheering on those making contributions. Tan said many of them were monetary donations.

“But also, people are bringing, you know, the staples of what people would want on their Thanksgiving table," he said. "Corn, lot of turkeys so far.”

When it came to turkeys, Cape Henry Collegiate dropped off more than 400 for the food drive. Though, that's not the only big donation volunteers saw.

Several Virginia Beach Police, EMS and Sheriff’s Office vehicles paraded through the line with hundreds of goods.

“We didn’t have enough police cars to bring the stuff we got," said Virginia Beach Police Officer Charlotte Mayberry. "So, the military stepped up.”

Officer Mayberry said giving back in this capacity shows residents other ways the department is serving them.

“To teach people that we're not out here just arresting people and taking people to jail," she said. "We’re giving back, we’re supporting the community, we’re in the community we live and work in.”

Karen Joyner, the CEO of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, said that historically on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during this event they receive an abundance of donations.

“You just have people coming," Joyner said. "I’m really hoping that we see that this year, because the need is so important.”

Foodbank leaders expect to collect more than half a million pounds of food by the end of the weekend.

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