EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Goodwin University in East Hartford held their annual turkey drive Monday to help families served by Connecticut Foodshare.

Joe Cooper is doing his part by donating a turkey so a family less fortunate can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

“It’s about America having a heart,” Cooper said. “I think that’s what we are good about, so let’s keep doing it.”

He was happy to participate in Goodwin University’s annual turkey drive held in partnership with the Connecticut Foodshare.

“This is an initiative we have had for a number of years, but it follows the school’s mission to give back to the community,” said Eric Emet, assistant dean of student affairs at Goodwin University.

Meanwhile, the university is also raising money to buy additional food so families can have fixings with the turkey.

“These are your friends, these are your neighbors, sometimes these are your relatives,” said Jason Jakubowski, president & CEO of Connecticut Foodshare. “We serve all of Connecticut, all 169 towns and there is one family that is food insecure in all 169 towns.”

Goodwin hopes they’ll get at least 100 turkeys and then deliver them to Connecticut Foodshare’s Bloomfield office. The agency is facing the daunting task of collecting 10,000 Thanksgiving meals in the next 10 days.

“It sounds like a big number, it is,” Jakubowski said. “It’s a very big number. When I think about our staff of about 20 at the food bank, our 4,000 plus volunteers.”

He is confident they’ll be able to meet the high demand for food, but inflation is hurting families and the nonprofit’s ability to purchase as many meals. It’s why they are reliant on community efforts to feed families in need this Thanksgiving.

If you are hoping to donate to the Connecticut Foodshare, WTNH is hosting the GR8 Thanksgiving Food Drive on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at 2 Research Parkway in Wallingford.