WILLMAR, Minn. — The makers of the Jennie-O® turkey brand announced that they have shattered the previous Guinness World Records title for the “Largest Donation of Turkeys in 24 Hours” with its donation of 15,000 whole turkeys, made on Nov. 13’s World Kindness Day. Separately, Jennie-O is donating more than 5,000 turkeys to additional charities in the U.S., totaling more than 20,000 turkeys donated this Thanksgiving season.
The Jennie-O brand collaborated with NBC’s “Today” show where weather and feature anchor Al Roker helped set the record. Broadcasting from New York City, Roker and the Jennie-O team donated 15,000 turkeys to local partners of Feeding America, the largest charity working to end hunger in the United States. The first 7,500 turkeys were provided to the New York area through their partners, Food Bank for New York City and City Harvest. The other 7,500 turkeys were donated to one of Feeding America’s Chicago partners, Greater Chicago Food Depository.
“Thanksgiving is an especially important time for the Jennie-O® brand,” said Steve Venenga, assistant vice president, retail marketing–Value-Added Meats for Hormel. “We are honored to collaborate with TODAY and Feeding America to provide 15,000 whole turkeys to those in need in New York and Chicago. We also have a long-standing tradition of working with organizations around the U.S. to donate turkeys — and this year, we’re donating more than 5,000 to local organizations. This special holiday is about giving thanks and sharing a meal with those you love. With these donations, we hope to make this Thanksgiving particularly memorable for thousands of families.”
“NBCUniversal’s platform has the power to entertain, inform and shape the world around us,” said Karen Schuchardt, senior vice president, content and talent partnerships, advertising and partnerships, NBCUniversal. “It also holds the power to be a force for good by collaborating with partners like Jennie-O Turkey and Feeding America to donate turkeys ahead of this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. We are incredibly proud of this collaboration to support families across the country when it matters most.”
Eight Jennie-O semi-trucks were deployed from Minnesota to New York and Chicago, where the turkeys were hand-delivered to each Feeding America location. Each bag contained a whole turkey, as well as cooking tips, recipes, and information about the Jennie-O brand team’s 1-800-TURKEYS hotline, where home cooks can speak with turkey experts about any and all Thanksgiving-related meal-prep questions and emergencies.
The previous Guiness World Records title holder for the “Most Turkeys Donated in 24 Hours” was 7,620 turkeys, weighing 142,117.54 pounds in 2022. This year, the Jennie-O brand donated 15,000 turkeys, weighing more than 320,450 pounds.
Jennie-O turkey has a tradition of giving back and spreading gratitude, especially during the holiday season, the company added. In 2022, they partnered with chef, cookbook author and TV personality Carla Hall and honored cafeteria staff across the country by hosting school cafeteria takeovers in select cities. A special Thanksgiving season visit took place in Los Angeles, complete with a beloved holiday meal. In 2021, they worked with YouTube phenom and philanthropist MrBeast and Beast Philanthropy to give away 10,000 turkeys to MrBeast’s hometown of Greenville, N.C. The brand also consistently gives back to its home state of Minnesota. Throughout the last five years, they teamed up with professional football player Adam Thielen and his foundation to donate thousands of turkeys during the holiday season.
In addition to this record-breaking donation, two Jennie-O turkeys will make the trip to Washington, D.C., this Thanksgiving to be pardoned by President Joe Biden. The Jennie-O brand will also take part in the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the fourth year in a row with the beloved turkey float and Paul Russell.