4,300 turkeys in 12 hours: Elliot Health System annual turkey giveaway lifts community

Thankful for staff who give to the community - and for community partners, who give to those in need.

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MANCHESTER, NH –  Thanksgiving came a little early during the Elliot Health System Annual Turkey Give-a-Way, held Nov. 15 on the Elliot Hospital campus.  From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. staff, providers, and volunteers lined up to receive a turkey as a gift of thanks for all that they give to the community. It also was an opportunity for everyone to take part in a food drive, clothing drive and a final gesture of giving – donating turkeys locally for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Due to the generosity of our staff, providers and volunteers, Elliot Health System purchased 4,300 turkeys for this event, and at the end of the day, after first giving to our staff, we donated 1,200 turkeys to the NH Food Bank, Child Health Services, New Horizons, and the Manchester Police Youth League,” said Greg Baxter, MD, President.

“It is a powerful part of our culture, and something we feel strongly about as we approach the season of refection and thanksgiving. We are here every day caring for people and this event allows us to say ‘thank you’ to local charities, like us, who are serving the community and who will use our gifts of food and clothing to reach people in need.  I could not be more proud of this tradition and the generosity of our great team at Elliot,” Baxter said.

Nancy Mellitt, Director of Development for the NH Food Bank said, “Thank you Elliot Health System for your generous support of the NH Food Bank again this year.  The total pounds of your donation came to 14,018 and we are all very impressed and extremely grateful!”


Elliot was joined by the Manchester Monarchs players who gave away turkeys and delivered turkeys up to nurses on the units.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Elliot as our team healthcare sponsor, and excited to give back to the community in this unique way,” said Brian Cheek, CEO of the Monarchs.  “I know the guys had a terrific afternoon working side-by-side with the leadership of Elliot, and this is even more meaningful when you consider how many people in our local community will be positively affected with the extraordinary donation of food and clothing.”

Elliot’s simultaneous clothing drive benefitted the Brookside Congregational Church and the food drive was a gift to the NH Food Bank.