Ingles, Daughtery, Shuler, Duke Energy team up with Eblen Charities for Thanksgiving meals

thanksGIVING: Each year, Ingles Markets teams up with Eblen Charities to make "Thanksgiving happen for our neighbors in need," says Melissa Leavell, Ingles director of advertising. Photo courtesy of Ingles Markets

Hundreds gathered for the annual turkey-dinner giveaway at Westgate Shopping Center the day before Thanksgiving. The annual event is co-sponsored each year by Ingles Markets and Eblen Charities. UNC All American, NBA star and Asheville native Brad Daughtery teamed up with former U.S. Congressman Heath Shuler and Duke Energy on Nov. 26 to provide 1,200 Thanksgiving meals to Buncombe families.

“Ingles is honored to be a part of making Thanksgiving happen for our neighbors in need,” said Melissa Leavell, Ingles’ director of advertising.

In addition to today’s turkey dinner giveaway,  Ingles and Eblen partner throughout the year on community programs such as Headlock on Hunger, Food for Thought,  Tools for Schools and The Ingles Toy store. Daughtery, the primary donor of the turkeys, Ingles and Eblen have made this an annual tradition.

“We know that every year the need grows and Asheville folks are always willing to step up to help,” said Leavell.

Press release:

Ingles Markets, Brad Daugherty and Heath Shuler brighten Thanksgiving holidays for thousands this Wednesday

This Wednesday, Nov. 26, former collegiate and NBA star and broadcaster Brad Daugherty and former NFL star and former United States Congressman Heath Shuler will be joining Ingles Markets and members of the Eblen Charities Board of Directors, Duke Energy, Wells Fargo Advisors, Asheville Radio Group, and friends in providing meals to thousands that otherwise might be facing an empty table on Thanksgiving Day.

Beginning at 9 a.m., the Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving program will distribute meals to 1,200 families at the Eblen Charities’ Waddell Client Service Center at Westgate.

“I have so much to be thankful for and the best way I know to show it is to share my blessings with others who may not be as fortunate,” says Brad Daugherty. “I have been on the board of the Eblen Charities for a number of years and have tens of thousands of the families that we assist each year, so there was no question what was the best way to reach the families I wanted to help. My schedule keeps me on the road and I am not always home, but this is one way I can help so many wonderful families during these tough times.”

“It is an honor to have been working with Eblen Charities and being part of all they do for those who are less fortunate,” states Heath Shuler. “I entered Congress to serve our community and when I elected not to run again, it didn’t mean that I was through reaching out to those in need in our community. Establishing the Heath Shuler Foundation with Eblen, we can expand the work we are already doing and reach more families in these demanding times.”

Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving was started by NCAA / NBA All-Pro and NASCAR analyst and team owner Brad Daugherty who began the program long before joining Eblen as each Thanksgiving he personally bought 50 turkeys or so and delivered them to families he knew needed a hand at the holidays. In partnering with Eblen Charities the program grew to distributing 12,000 meals this year.

Each turkey weighs between ten and fourteen pounds which allows even the largest table to feed their families and friends. This year Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving will expand by adding green beans, dressing mix, instant potatoes, cranberry sauce, cake mix, and frosting to the Thanksgiving meal.

“This program has grown so much in the past eight years and so many that we will serve this Wednesday have never had to ask for help before. It is important to all of us to make sure that everyone we reach out to knows that how happy we are to share Thanksgiving with them and their families.” remarked Bill Murdock, executive Director of Eblen Charities.

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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