A roadside building in the Green Hills area on the northwest side of the city was the scene earlier this week of a massive distribution initiative to make sure less fortunate residents in the Twin Counties have Thanksgiving meals on their respective tables Thursday.

The center of the effort occurred Monday afternoon at Ripe Revival in the 100 block of English Road.

There, 900 turkeys, along with roughly 975 boxes of produce, were being loaded into vehicles driven by arriving representatives of numerous nonprofit agencies for distribution.

Ripe Revival founder Will Kornegay told the Telegram of knowing people on Thanksgiving will have this food on their table, “It’s very humbling to be a part of that, but it’s not in and of ourselves. We’re surrounded by a lot of people in a community that care deeply about this community and want to see unity through community.

“And so, I can’t help but smile thinking about the conversations that are going to be had at the table — at over 900 tables — and see these families gathered around laughing and joking and having fun and being thankful,” Kornegay said. “And we’re just proud to be part of that with a lot of great people.”

Ripe Revival started out in the business of making protein gummies from up-cycled produce.

Ripe Revival pivoted in response to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and focused on doing different things, including purchasing food from farmers, dairy producers, food producers and meat producers for packing and delivery to members on the for-profit side.

What was occurring Monday was the new nonprofit part of Ripe Revival, which is called Ripe for Revival.

Kornegay told the Telegram the packages being picked up resulted from efforts by partners.

Kornegay said that the turkeys were donated by Beast Philanthropy and Jennie O and that the produce was donated by L&M Family Farms, Nash Produce, Hickory Meadows Organics and Ripe Revival Produce.

Kornegay said that Braswell Family Farms donated about 900 cartons of eggs.

Additionally, the N.C. SweetPotato Commission was a partner in what occurred Monday. The commission’s mission is to promote consumer consumption of North Carolina sweet potatoes through education, marketing and promotions and via a variety of partnerships.


Commission Executive Director Michelle Grainger of Cary told the Telegram, “Agriculture is about community. Agriculture is about giving back — and this is an opportunity during a time that our country has not seen in a very long time, if perhaps ever, where we need to give back.”

Grainger said what she likes about this particular effort is that numerous partners came together to make sure that all the meals were put together.

“Then you had numerous community partners who came together and identified the families in need who needed the food,” Grainger said.

Sharde Gillis oversees programming at Ripple Effects, which is a faith-based empowerment center.

Gillis was loading up a van with products for people in their golden years Ripple Effects has been serving for several weeks.

“We are going to have some very, very happy senior citizens,” Gillis told the Telegram. “A lot of the senior citizens that we come in contact with receive anywhere between $10 and $20 a month in food stamps. So they have been very, very grateful for the food that we’ve been able to supply them.”

Ripple Effects Executive Director Keisha Spivey called what was occurring Monday “absolutely amazing.”

“I think community collaboration and organizations coming together for the greater good is the key to changing our city,” she told the Telegram.

Also picking up products was Emily Haley, the farm to early education coordinator at the Down East Partnership for Children.

The partnership seeks to make sure children in the Twin Counties are healthy and lifelong learners by the time they complete the third grade.

“We know from our partners that there were going to (be those who) have to go without a turkey this year,” Haley said. “And so, I’m just glad that through the blessing of Ripe Revival and others that they’ll be able to have something.”