Greater Niles Federal Credit Union member Abby Frays (left) picks up her free turkey from Lissa Purlee Friday. The Edwardsburg branch gave away 225 turkeys and 20 hams this year. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)
Greater Niles Federal Credit Union member Abby Frays (left) picks up her free turkey from Lissa Purlee Friday. The Edwardsburg branch gave away 225 turkeys and 20 hams this year. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Credit Union turkey giveaway growing

Published 12:42pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

Enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner will be a bit easier for the members of the Greater Niles Area Federal Credit Union in Edwardsburg this year.

For the 11th straight year, the credit union is giving away free turkeys and hams to members who sign up for them, which could help save families as much as $25, the average cost of a turkey.

“It is our way of giving back to the members,” said Martha Ireland, branch manager of the Greater Niles Federal Credit Union in Edwardsburg. “We have tripled what we gave away last year.”

According to Ireland, more than 2,000 turkeys and 400 hams were given away last Thursday and Friday at the branches in Edwardsburg, Cassopolis and Niles.

“That shows just how much we have grown in the last year,” she said.

Members were required to sign up in advance so that the appropriate number of turkeys and hams could be provided. A trailer filled with the meats from Martins was delivered to the Niles location and from there, the correct number needed each day is transported to the other branches for pick up.

In Edwardsburg, 225 turkeys and 20 hams were needed for the branch. In comparison, last year the Edwardsburg branch gave away between 60 and 90 turkeys.

A rented freezer stores the product until they are picked up.

Any leftover turkeys or hams will be donated to various charities.

This year, the Edwardsburg branch is donating their 15 leftover turkeys to the VFW so that they can help the post out, which provides a free dinner for the veterans each year.

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