A Sign of the Times: Needy Wait Hours for Free Turkeys
It's a sign of wealth disparity, a sign of the stubborn persistence of the economic downturn, a sign of the times. As others spend hundreds on Thanksgiving dinners or hire caterers to come in and spread the bountiful table, the nation's neediest wait on lines for turkeys. And the lines were long, the wait time hours.
For 23 years, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, The Jackson Limousine Service has been donating free turkeys with all the fixin's and trimmin's at a rousing occasion as celebrities and various officials are on hand for the Thanksgiving festivities. Every year South Los Angeles' neediest line the sidewalks, but this year they seemed to be on line earlier than ever to insure that they would receive their free turkeys and the boxes full of vegetables and water. Typically, in the past the limo company has handed out enough turkey meals for 10,000 people. This year was no different, however, organizers told CBS News' Ben Tracy that the first person in line got there on Saturday (three days before the distribution). Others stood on line for six hours with at least an hour left to go.
"I donated last year," said Romeo one of the ones who lined up early, in fact 9 a.m. Monday. The gates opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday. He was taking no chances of not receiving a Thanksgiving meal for his family "I didn't expect to be here," he said," but this year's been tough."
Another of South Los Angeles' residents, Minnie Alford, began standing in line at 8 a.m. Alford, a child-care provider for the state of California, has had her income reduced by 60 percent due to budget cuts.
"Last Thanksgiving, I did it all myself. Like I said, I could have bought me, you, your crew what you wanted, you know, but this year...wow... you see where I am,"Continued on the next page