A long line of hopeful people from all walks of life formed outside the Kent Food Bank two days before Thanksgiving.  As the rain fell, small groups continued to join the crowd, making their way in the front doors where they waited for hours.

Once inside, they were given tickets to identify how many people in their family would be accounted for with donations from the 4th Annual Kent Turkey Challenge. Thanks to a huge showing of support to the food drive from the Kent community, no one had to be turned away without a meal that qualified for the assistance.

Total donations to the Kent Food Bank from the 4th Annual Kent Turkey Challenge topped $22,500 and 10,800 pounds of food – the most ever collected in the Challenge.  Over the past four years, cumulative donations exceed $56,500 and 16,800 pounds of food.

Torklift Central began the Kent Turkey Challenge in 2011in response to the Kent Food Bank losing thousands of dollars in public funding, leaving hundreds of families facing an uncertain Thanksgiving. In past years, the number of people that have been able to receive their holiday meal from the food bank has become increasingly dependent on support from the local community. 

Kent Food Bank and Torklift Central staff

“Each year our community unites to gather money and food for our local families,” said Torklift Central Owner Jack Kay. “I’m inspired by what our community can accomplish when we band together behind a worthy cause.”

Nearly 70 businesses contributed to this year’s Kent Turkey Challenge.  The following are the top contributors.

Top Businesses For Cash Collections

1.    Torklift Central: $4,630
2.    Ski’s Painting Inc: $4,126
3.    Eberle Vivian: $3,610
4.    Kent United Methodist: $2,323
5.    Great American Casino: $1,460

Ski’s Painting Inc. made a commitment to the Challenge and had a significant positive impact.

“We have been a part of the Kent community for over 20 years and saw a need to support the community,” said Ski’s Painting Inc. Manager Jesse Flicks, “We had the means to help and were happy to.  It’s always better when you can do it all together.” 

Top Businesses For Food Donations

1.    Seattle/Tacoma KOA: 2,830 cans
2.    Ski’s Painting, Inc.: 2,755 cans
3.    Springbrook Elementary School: 1,873 cans
4.    Kent Valley Hockey Association: 691 cans
5.    Grass Lake Elementary School:  626 cans

KOA Campgrounds enlisted customers into the challenge.

“We put out a note to the staff and to the campers at the campground and everyone jumped right in to help the community,” said Karen Rosier General Manager at KOA. “It also helps that some of us are very competitive.”

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Kent Turkey Challenge the most successful to date.  With your help we are able to make our city a place where no family has to go hungry on Thanksgiving.

To learn more about the results of the Fourth Annual Kent Turkey Challenge and see all of the businesses that participated, visit the official Challenge webpage