Tenants of Flatbush Gardens housing complex in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, who have rallied for better living conditions over many years, benefited from the 13th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway on Tuesday, Nov. 15.
The line stretched up the block, as residents waited patiently to enter the community center at 1403 New York Ave., to pack their food carts with hefty turkeys, and all the fixings for a healthy, Thanksgiving dinner.
Tenant Association Leader, Marietta Small, Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman, District 58th, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, came together in peace with owner of Flatbush Gardens, Jacob JJ Bistricer, during the handing out of 300 birds, at the charitable event, organized by Dr. Meda Leacock, founder of IAm WondaWoman Foundation, the Deon Grant Foundation the, Domencio Foundation, and others.
The humanitarian outreach, that was held in Bedford-Stuyvesant last year, and thanked Jamaican dancehall artist “Spice,” for handing out turkeys, also shared face masks, and COVID test kits.
Assemblywoman Chandler-Waterman, in thanking the tenant association, JJ Bistricer, and Dana Rachlin of Build the Block (a New York City-based organization bringing community together to build the future of public safety) – noted that partnering at the giveaway was not only about her title, but her love for the community where she was born.
She thanked Dr. Leacock, for the charitable offering, noting that they grew-up together on the same East Flatbush block, and appreciates the decades old Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, and partnerships forged over the years.
Dr. Leacock thanked the various foundations, and businesses for coming together to make the yearly initiative the success it is today.
Landlord Bistricer, executive VP of Clipper Equity and Partners, who has felt the wrath of tenants over many years due to unhealthy living conditions in their housing complex, told Caribbean Life he is rectifying the problems at Flatbush Gardens by first, being at the outreach to hand out turkeys.
“We are listening and talking with everyone about their concerns. We met with elected officials, and we are working to improve the lives of all the residents of Flatbush Gardens,” he said, adding that, a home-cooked meal goes a long way.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams confirmed that politicians are working with Clipper Equity to address the concerns of residents.
Gibron Jones, onetime Brooklynite, and owner of Hosco USA Farms in St. Louis was happy to serve tenants 400 meals of stewed curry paired with stirred fried vegetables and mashed potatoes, prepared by his company. His organization serves millions of meals every year, mostly to families in need.
Noting that hunger is a reality in New York, the collective said this time of year is set aside to help make the holiday season a little brighter.
“Our annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive illustrates how the Brooklyn Community can make a difference by working together to help their neighbors most in need,” said the statement.
Additional turkeys were donated to Our Lady of Charity Church, Brooklyn, to provide hot dinners on Thanksgiving Day for the needy.
The Thanksgiving initiative that was dedicated to late, great, Brooklyn-born actor, Michael K. Williams, honored tenant leader of Flatbush Gardens Tenant Association, Marietta Smalls, in his memory, for her advocacy work.
She was presented with a picture of the actor, and a Citation from Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman.
The NYPD, God Squad, Artist Junior Mafia, Jimmy Cozier, singer, Women with Voices & HOSCO SHIFT, Stacy Barthe & Celebrity Friends, entrepreneurs, Davina Perez, Danielle Beckom, and Latoya King, contributed.