Giving and receiving

11/22/2023, 6 p.m.
When a Richmond area grocery retailer failed to provide a local nonprofit turkeys advertised for 39 cents per pound, another …

When a Richmond area grocery retailer failed to provide a local nonprofit turkeys advertised for 39 cents per pound, another grocer with deeper roots in the region stepped in to save the day.

In an email to the Free Press, Darryl Stuckey Sr. of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Beta Gamma Lambda Chapter, described the situation that threatened to ruin the organization’s plans to distribute 200 turkeys on Nov. 18 to families in need.

Because the fraternity partnered with the same Short Pump retailer a year ago, Mr. Stuckey, who routinely shops at the store, was surprised when its hierarchy refused to budge on the price of the turkeys. A $250 gift certificate from the grocer, while a nice gesture, wasn’t enough to cover the cost of the turkeys for which the company wanted Mr. Stuckey to pay $2.12 per pound.

Enter another partner, the Kroger in Short Pump, where Mr. Stuckey also frequently shops. After asking Kroger’s management for help, a positive response came a short while later. Kroger supplied the fraternity 200 turkeys at 39 cents per pound.

“Thank goodness for Kroger and their wanting to be a community partner,” wrote Mr. Stuckey in an email. “They were wonderful. Wonderful.”

Mr. Stuckey chairs his fraternity’s Young Achievers and Making Men mentoring program for high school students that sponsored last Saturday’s turkey giveaway. Other partners and sponsors included The Beta Gamma Lambda Educational Foundation, The Links, Commonwealth (VA) Chapter, the Urban League of Greater Richmond and the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Richmond.

Also worth mentioning: Last summer, Mr. Stuckey helped organize and secure buses to Washington, D.C., to recognize the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. That event, on Aug. 28, 1963, drew more than 250,000 people who participated in the historic march, gathering near the Lincoln Memorial.

During the widely covered event 60 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his exalted “I Have a Dream” speech. (The new biopic, “Rustin,” highlights the march.)

Joined by members of Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities, and Delta Sigma Theta and Alpha Kappa Alpha sororities, Mr. Stuckey felt it necessary to attend this year’s march to “bring attention to many of the racial, social and economic disparities that continue today.”

Thus, while disappointed by the actions of the grocery store retailer that arrived in Richmond a few years ago, Mr. Stuckey didn’t spend his time trashing the company.

He instead focused on what the Thanksgiving holiday should be about: community, giving, love, kindness and selflessness.

And being thankful.

On the day of the turkey giveaway at Creighton and Nine Mile roads, all 200 of the big birds were gone in less than 25 minutes, he said. And the Kroger in Short Pump has committed to working with the Alphas' turkey giveaway event for the next five years.