Longtime annual Thanksgiving giveaway in danger of shutting down

The future of a Thanksgiving giveaway tradition in South Florida is in jeopardy.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The future of a Thanksgiving giveaway tradition in South Florida is in jeopardy.

A line of cars stretched down Federal Highway Saturday morning for a grocery and turkey giveaway at the Sanctuary Church.

The giveaway was from 9 a.m. to noon.

Drive thru style, one by one cars popped their trunk and about 5000 meals were handed out.

Wayne Barton Study Center’s Good News of Christ Ministries in partnership with the city of Fort Lauderdale has hosted this for the last six years.

For over 22 years, retired Boca Raton police officer Wayne Barton has provided hot meals, scholarships, homework assistance, camps and vital resources to thousands of underprivileged youths throughout the tri-county area through the Wayne Barton Study Center.

Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the Center’s existence in question.

With sponsors pulling back amid financial insecurity, and lack of income from event rentals, the Center is in danger of foreclosure by Christmas, stripping thousands of kids of this critical lifeline.

To save the building and to keep operations running, Wayne Barton needs to raise $3,000,000 by Christmas.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help save the Center. Click here to view and share.

On what might be the Center’s last year holding its annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaways, the Center plans to give out 100,000 lbs. of food over two days in Fort Lauderdale on Nov. 20 and Boca Raton on Nov. 23 together with its community partners.

About the Author:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.