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In The News

Tons of Turkeys in the Daily Times News (Delco)

Please click here to read the full article as seen on November 19th, 2016.

A Thanksgiving Turkey on each table is Tons of Turkeys’ Mission with help from City Team Ministries.



WEST CHESTER >> Rick and Francie Warther were sitting around the Thanksgiving table seven years ago with their family and decided that no one should go without a turkey on their table at Thanksgiving. The family from West Chester started Tons of Turkeys at Over the years the nonprofit has grown.

In seven years they have donated 10,000 turkeys. On Saturday they volunteered to deliver turkeys and baskets of food to those in need with Cityteam Ministries. They brought their nieces, Sophia Truran and Rachel Vellutato and their brother, Kevin Truran to help out.

“This is the third year we donated 1,000 turkeys to the Cityteam Ministries,” said Francie Warther. “We knew that the Cityteam Ministries was struggling to get turkeys. We donate 500 to the Chester County Food Bank. It’s important to give back and this is the time to give back. We want as many families as possible to have a fantastic Thanksgiving. We just couldn’t imagine people not having turkeys on their table at Thanksgiving.”

“We have a direct mail campaign to family, friends and small businesses,” said Rick Warther. “Landscapers, dentists, plumbers and others donate. People want to give every year, be it $1000 or $10. It all helps.”

For the Warthers, delivering the turkeys to those in need was humbling and eye-opening.

“The people are so grateful for what you do,” said Francie Warther. “By delivering the turkeys to those in need, we had our boots on the ground and we had a chance to experience and see the real sense of community of here. It’s a way to connect the dots.”

Nine hundred boxes of food and turkeys were delivered on Saturday by volunteers. Thirty-four turkeys will be cooked to give those in need a restaurant-style full meal and some food to take home on Thanksgiving, according to John Clifford who heads the Food Service.

Tavia Isaac, who won Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” award this year, will use her talents in the kitchen to help out.

“Inside each box is everything for a complete Thanksgiving meal, from the stuffing to the vegetables and hopefully leftovers,” said Kwinn Tucker, director of Cityteam Ministries. “We started delivering 10 years ago. Volunteers deliver to 300 families. Many families come and pick them up. Families register in October. There is lots of work behind the scenes to make this happen. We were struggling getting enough turkeys before the Warthers family came along. Their donation helps a lot.

“This whole day is an outpouring of community supporting people. Even if someone doesn’t have enough to give, they volunteer. It’s beautiful to see how God provides and the goodness that comes from the heart. People show up more and more needing help every year, but the volunteers are generous and we count on them. We receive no funding from any government agency but we always have enough.”

Mark Kropiewnicki of West Chester comes every year with a group from Ss. Simon and Jude Parish.

“I have done this the last couple of years at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Kropiewnicki said. “It’s a father-and-son outing. It’s a way to teach our kids what life is like beyond the suburbs.”

Dan Costa of Wilmington, Delaware, who recently lived in Media, feels by volunteering he is giving back because others have been there for him. He brought both his daughters to help out.

“I am honored to be able to help people,” Costa said. “I had people in my life that took care of me when I couldn’t. I’m grateful for what has been given to me. I like to pass it on.”

“It is life-changing to be a part of something bigger than yourself,“ said Tucker, as she looked around the room at the many volunteers and residents.

Turkeys and food will be given out again on Dec. 17 for Christmas. If you want to volunteer to deliver turkeys you can register at




Tons of Turkeys in the spotlight.

As seen in the Daily Local News, Thursday, October 29, 2009

By Justin McAneny, Staff Writer

"We should get a bunch of turkeys." It sounds like the beginning to a bad practical joke or the words uttered during the planning of a large holiday meal. But they weren't. Those words, said by Rick Warther, were a statement of goodwill. The turkeys were going to be donated.

Around this time last year, the Warthers, including Rick, his wife, Francie, and their two daughters, Katie and Natalie, were sitting around their dining room table, just talking, when that now famous phrase, "we should get some turkeys," was uttered. So they did, but not just a few to donate to Philabundance, but a truck's worth — almost a ton of turkeys. With those words and almost a ton of turkeys (100 turkeys totaling 1,800 pounds to be exact), an idea was born — a nonprofit organization to raise food to be donated to Philabundance during the holidays —

Philabundance, based in Philadelphia, is the Delaware Valley's largest hunger relief organization, according to its Web site, The organization, founded in 1984, provides food through a network of agencies throughout the region that include food cupboards, shelters and residential programs, neighborhood distribution centers and many, many other organizations that help the hungry and malnourished. And they rely on donations.

So last year, the Warthers, who are from East Goshen, decided to donate. After some research online, you can't just go to the grocery store and buy close to a ton of turkeys, they found a turkey farm in Orefield, which is a bit north of Allentown, rented a truck and took off on the two-hour trip. "All I got was complaints about the band music (during the ride)," Rick said. Radio stations in that area that Rick, Katie and Natalie actually could agree upon were few and far between.

With the truck full, they headed to Philadelphia.

And when they arrived, they got quite a reaction. Philabundance staff members, according to Katie, said, "'Wait, you did this on your own?'" The staff members just assumed they were with an organization, Francie said. "I was surprised that they could handle this many (turkeys at once)," Katie said. "But they did."

"It was a wonderful surprise," said Martha Buccino, chief development officer for Philabundance. "They're a wonderful family."

On average, Buccino explained, Philabundance receives donations of 10 or 12 turkeys at a time from companies, let alone from that many private families. "Nothing compares to the degree they've done."

For their work, both Katie and Natalie were honored by Philabundance and received the Harvester of Hope Award in recognition of those individuals or organizations that help fight hunger throughout the Delaware Valley. Natalie accepted the award on behalf of her and her sister. Katie was in Spain at the time.

The average total of turkeys collected is between 4,000 and 5,000. Those turkeys are then given to local agencies that administer them to families across the region. "The turkey is symbolic of the holiday season," she said. "We never have a turkey that goes to waste."

The Warthers have decided to donate again this year. "Initially, it was a once-and-done deal," Natalie said. "But we felt good about donating and it went from there."

So, last August, the family began talking about this year's donation. That's where the idea for starting the nonprofit, Tons of Turkeys, came from.

The family's experiences — Rick's in the corporate world (which helped with asking for corporate donations), Francie's in the world of nonprofits, Katie's being a junior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and completing an internship at a nonprofit in Phila

delphia, and Natalie, a junior at Westtown School and the writer of the family — all came together knowing they had what it takes to make an idea like this work.

Now, through direct mail lists, approaching corporations, school fundraisers and just good old word of mouth, the Warthers want to see Tons of Turkeys grow and help feed those in need.

"Send us a check and help us put turkeys on people's plates," Rick said. Because in the future the family would like to see the turkeys delivered in tractor-trailers -- not U-Hauls. You have to "think big, think lots of turkeys," he said.

Both the Warthers and Philabundance are looking to the future together. Buccino sees the relationship possibly becoming very hands-on for the family, getting to the point where they'll see the turkeys from purchase point through delivery, possibly knowing where the turkeys ended up.

"I see it as a very rewarding experience for them and us," Buccino said.

-- To learn more about Tons of Turkeys or to make a donation, visit

-- To contact staff writer Justin McAneny, send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his blog at



Published: Sunday, December 14, 2008

Turkeys donated to Philabundance

Katie, left, John and Natalie Warther of West Chester donated 100 turkeys to Philabundance during its annual Turkey Round-Up on Nov. 15.

Each turkey weighed about 18 pounds -- which means the family donated almost one ton of turkeys to the Philadelphia-based organization which provides food to more than 600 hunger relief organizations in the region.


Tons of Turkeys - In the News!

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Our Mission

Tons of Turkeys' mission is to provide turkeys for thousands of local families and enrich their family Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey dinner.


Thanksgiving is an important American tradition that we believe everyone should have the opportunity to take part in, regardless of financial resources.

Our family is very blessed, and we’ve realized the best way to show how truly thankful we are is to share the spirit of Thanksgiving.

In return, we are all instilled with a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing how many people we’ve helped and encouraged.