BILLINGS - Each year, Turkey Tuesday brings in hundreds of frozen turkeys and unwrapped toys, and thousands of dollars in donations to help our community - and that was with just one drop-off spot at our downtown Q2 studios.
Q2, which co-sponsors the event, is expanding in 2022 to include two Masterlube locations, on Main Street in the Heights and at 24th and King on the West End. We’re hoping it makes an even bigger difference.
"There's a lot of people who wouldn’t even have a Thanksgiving dinner," said Billings resident Jolleen Strever. "And it's nice they can sit at home with their families to do it."
Strever has seen first-hand what the Billings Food Bank can do.
"All of a sudden I had no money, no food, and I had a little boy to feed," Strever said. "When I came in, it was great. She treated me so well."
The person Strever is referring to is Food Bank executive director Sheryle Shandy, and that meeting was nearly 40 years ago.
"We had a long conversation about how difficult it is," Shandy said. "She had gone through what I had, and that one of the things that triggered it."
The two remain friends to the day, and Strever has gone from recipient to Food Bank supporter. It’s more important than ever today: turkey prices are up 17 percent from last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And canned fruits and vegetables are up 18 percent - products you can give on Turkey Tuesday to brighten a family’s holiday this year.
"It's food for the soul," Shandy said. "One of the reasons we started doing this is because a lot of folks are widowed, and they're coping with that and the isolation that followed. It's been so well-received."
And we all know it feels even better to give.
Here are all the Turkey Tuesday details:
Drop off frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items, unwrapped toys, or cash donations at these locations:
Q2 Studios - 3203 3rd Ave North - 6am - 6pm
MasterLube - Westend - 2424 King Ave West - 7am - 6pm
MasterLube - Heights - 1331 Main St. - 7am - 6pm