By: Tanner Watkins
November 14, 2018 | 5:32 PM
The holidays are a time for giving, and for the past five years, Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay has certainly done his fair share. Since 2014, Hunter-Reay has teamed up with team partner Butterball to give away over 2,500 turkeys to families in need before Thanksgiving.
Hunter-Reay’s turkey tradition began in November of 2014, the same year in which he won the Indianapolis 500.
“This initiative started in 2014 with 500 turkeys in honor of our Indianapolis 500 win, and we’re really proud to work with Butterball each year to continue the giving – and to now be giving nearly 750 Butterball whole turkeys to central Indiana,” said Hunter-Reay.
“It’s great to see our Andretti Autosport partners coming together to give back to this community that gives so much to us. I’m happy to be here giving back and to be a part of everything that both Butterball and DHL stand for.”
Butterball accounts for approximately 20 percent of the United States’ turkey production. By teaming up with DHL, who volunteered its couriers and vans for the pick-up and delivery of 750 turkeys, Butterball and Hunter-Reay were able to execute another massive giveaway in 2018.
“At Butterball, we share Ryan Hunter-Reay’s and Andretti Autosport’s desire to give back to those in need, especially in the communities we call home,” said Kerry Doughty, the CEO of Butterball.
“As a native Hoosier, this is an event I look forward to every year, because this community means so much to me. I hope this turkey will put a smile on the faces of those who need it most.”
Hunter-Reay’s giveaway bonanza occurred on Tuesday at Indianapolis’ Midwest Food Bank. While approximately 750 turkeys were distributed during the day, over 1,000 boxes of stuffing – provided by Kroger – were also issued to the various missions that Midwest Food Bank serves.
The food donations were distributed to the Wheeler Mission, St. Vincent de Paul, Westminster Neighborhood Services and the Mary Rigg Community Center. These are all food pantries across the Indianapolis metropolitan area, and the efforts of Butterball, DHL, Kroger and Hunter-Reay will help feed more than 4,500 people this Thanksgiving.
“We are fortunate to have such wonderful community partners like our DHL-sponsored Andretti Autosport team and to collaborate on initiatives that bring support where it is needed most,” said Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S.
“This time of year, especially, DHL works to deliver happiness to those who need a little help to enjoy the holidays. We are thankful to the many wonderful communities we serve, and this is one way we can show our appreciation.”
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.