December 06, 2013
Winn-Dixie store No. 197 Service Area Manager Jennifer Finley serves Thanksgiving dinner for residents and caretakers at the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in Gainesville, Fla. (credit: The Gainesville Sun)​

In a season highlighted by sharing meals and giving thanks, many stores throughout Winn-Dixie’s footprint worked with community leaders and organizations to make sure everyone would have a happy holiday. From turkey giveaways to sponsored meals, food drives to in-store donations, many Winn-Dixie stores showed thanks by giving back to their neighbors.

Several stores and districts throughout Winn-Dixie participated in community turkey donations for families in need of a holiday meal. Winn-Dixie store No. 251 Store Director Eliu Cubas worked with Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado for nearly two weeks, making several trips throughout the community to deliver turkeys to Miami residents. The giving continued on Nov. 22 as Winn-Dixie teamed up with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office to distribute 600 turkeys to local families. On Nov. 25, Winn-Dixie donated 100 turkeys during the City of Hialeah’s Food Drive. Later that day, Winn-Dixie participated in the city’s annual Turkey Trot event, providing fun giveaways during an evening of children’s activities for what has become a holiday tradition in South Florida.

Winn-Dixie also partnered with local organizations to help their neighbors in need of a holiday meal. On Nov. 19, Winn-Dixie District Director Mark Nyquist and a team of seven associates visited the Treasure Coast Food Bank to help distribute 600 turkeys. In Lakeland, Fla., store No. 706 Store Director Luke Grinstead felt the giving spirit as he delivered 110 turkeys to Harbor of Hope Ministries on Nov. 23, while Winn-Dixie store No. 371 in Miami, Fla. partnered with Rotary of Perrine to distribute 260 Thanksgiving dinners to nearby residents.

For two Winn-Dixie stores in the Jacksonville region, giving back for the holidays meant serving up a hot meal. On Nov. 21 Winn-Dixie associates from store No. 160 and 197 in Gainesville, Fla. came together to provide a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to more than 100 residents and care takers at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge. Winn-Dixie Chef John Meessner cooked-up a meal that included turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and collard greens.

Sometimes a little lighthearted prank can symbolize the joy of the holidays, as witnessed at Winn-Dixie Store No. 1411 in Metairie, La. For another year, The New Orleans Saints rookie players fell for an infamous turkey prank pulled by their coaches: as players tried to claim their “free turkey,” an actor portraying a store director insists he doesn’t believe they are NFL players. In the end, the prank is revealed and both players and staff have a good laugh, bringing the joy of the holidays to future generations who will enjoy the laughter the prank will bring.

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From left: Winn-Dixie store No. 238 Store Director Carlos Cotto, store No. 2355 Store Director Michael Hurst, store No. 364 Store Director Guy Hansman, District Director Mark Nyquist, store No. 2366 Rick Romani, store No. 2348 Store Director Michael Bieschke, store No. 305 Store Director Alex Shipley and Service Area Manager Erskin Hall.

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Winn-Dixie store No. 167 Store Director Ron Knight (right) and Service Area Manager Matt Asbell (center) serve Thanksgiving dinner for residents and caretakers at American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Gainesville, Fla.

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From left: Winn-Dixie store No. 383 Store Director Jose Perez, store No. 286 Store Director Edgar Bustillo, store No. 249 Store Director Carlos Ortega, store No. 287 Store Director Luis Rodriguez, store No. 388 Store Director Max Cintado, Winn-Dixie Miami Region Vice President Tony Jorges, Winn-Dixie District Director Jorge Cabo, store No. 361 Store Director Henner Herrera, store No. 280 Store Director Adrian Manresa, Winn-Dixie District Director Gueorgui Lago, store No. 359 Store Director Zori Ortega and store No. 366 Store Director Juan Polo.

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From left: Winn-Dixie store No. 201 Michel Marquez, store No. 292 Store Director Lazaro Lima, City of Hialeah Councilmember Paul Hernandez, Miami Region Vice President Tony Jorges, City of Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez, City of Hialeah Councilmember Isis Garcia-Martinez, store No. 243 Store Director Maria Gonzalez, store No. 270 Store Director Daisy Cordovi, District Director Liz Acosta, District Director Gueorgui Lago and store No. 242 Tony Estrada.

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Winn-Dixie store No. 318 Store Director Jose Llanes partnered with St. Agnes Church and School help deliver holiday foodstuffs to needy families throughout Miami-Dade County.

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Winn-Dixie associates from store No. 371 in Miami, Fla. unload food that was distributed to 260 families in partnership with the Rotary Club of Perrine.

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On Nov. 23Winn-Dixie store No. 706 Store Director Luke Grinstead delivered 110 turkeys the Harbor of Hope Ministries annual turkey donation.

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Associates from Winn-Dixie stores distributed water and bananas to runners in the 18thannual Turkey Trot on Nov. 28 in Ocala, Fla.

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