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New Orleans Saints players hand out turkeys, food to 1,000 underserved families

By Connor Tarter

The New Orleans Saints participated in an annual holiday tradition Tuesday, Nov 25, by handing out turkeys and canned food to needy citizens at the Dryades Street YMCA in New Orleans.

More than 1,000 individuals waited patiently inside of the YMCA for their opportunity to take home a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving.

The New Orleans Saints have been providing this service for 25 years. Among the players in attendance were Akiem Hicks, Joe Morgan, Thomas Morstead, Nick Toon, Bryce Harris, Kenny Stills, Cameron Jordan, Brandon Coleman, Tim Lelito and Senio Kelemete.

Morstead was particularly happy to be giving back to his community before the holidays.

"We have the best fans in the world, and all these people, you can really tell they're banking on having this for Thanksgiving," Morstead said. "It feels great to come out here and have the opportunity to meet all these people and give them a little joy for Thanksgiving."

One of the many people behind the coordination of the event was Jay H. Banks, the director of Dryades Street YMCA School of Commerce. He professed his profound gratitude for the assistance the Saints provide YMCA with every year.

"The Saints are New Orleans, and New Orleans is the Saints," Banks said. "The fact is, we would not be able to do this if it was not for them. The Saints have been supporting this effort for the last 25 years, and as you can see, the community loves it. They come out here and they're excited, they're elated. And somebody asked me outside, 'you think they're gonna come?' 'Yeah, I think they're gonna come, and I think they'll be back next year, and the year after that.'"

"This is a marvelous thing that the Saints do, and we're elated to have them help us do this."

Wide receiver Joe Morgan was delighted to be involved as well, and clarified his stance on community outreach.

"Football comes second," Morgan said. "We have this opportunity to give back and it's really a blessing."

Photos from New Orleans Saints players participating in the annual Turkey Giveaway at Dryades YMCA on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Photos by Connor Tarter. (New Orleans Saints photos)

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