29th Annual HEAT Thanksgiving Celebration
The Miami HEAT will hosted the 29th Annual HEAT Thanksgiving Celebration on Thursday, November 19th at the Mana Convention Center in Miami. The HEAT, alongside Feeding South Florida, hosted a contactless drive-through food distribution to continue to bring assistance to those adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. HEAT Legends, Alonzo Mourning, Shane Battier and Glen Rice, along with HEAT front office employees, joined presenting sponsor Florida Blue, as well as supporting sponsors Vico Painting, Goya Foods, FOX Sports Sun, Hairclub, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty and Papa John’s Pizza to usher in the Thanksgiving holiday with the residents of the Greater Miami area.
Approximately 600 families were pre-selected by different local government and community-based organizations and agencies and each received an entire Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings from the Miami HEAT, courtesy of Florida Blue. Frozen turkeys have been provided by Publix and Vico Painting while canned goods, side items and beverages have been donated by Goya Foods, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, Pepsico and Hairclub. Papa John’s Pizza also provided each family with a free large pizza voucher and each was eligible to receive a package from Feeding South Florida including milk, protein, produce and an assortment of non-perishable goods.
The reach of this year’s celebration extended well beyond the Overtown/Wynwood area to help touch those in need in communities such as Little Havana, Little Haiti, Liberty City, Kendall, and as far north as Lauderdale Lakes. Other beneficiaries of the event included: Miami Rescue Mission, Chapman Partnership, Camillus House, Lotus House Women’s Shelter, SafeSpace, Curley’s House of Style Hope Relief Food Bank, Amigos for Kids, Health in the Hood, members of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), Overtown Youth Center, Salvation Army, Rebuilding Together, Food Rescue U.S. and The Advocate Program which services military veterans and their families.
The Miami HEAT Dancers, HEAT mascot, Burnie, In-Arena Host, Uptown Dale, and the Hoop Troop were on-site throughout the afternoon to assist with the food distribution.
Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Providing support for 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population, its mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education. Feeding South Florida distributed over 119 million pounds (99 million meals) of food last year, to over one million individuals through direct-service programs and a local network of approximately 300 nonprofit partner agencies.