'Larry the Turkey Guy' provides Thanksgiving meals for families in need

Larry Hardnett dips into savings account to make sure Palm Beach County families fed this Thanksgiving
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 18:22:39-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Families came together this Thanksgiving to make sure other families in Palm Beach County had food on the table.

Families told WPTV stories of hardship with a glimmer of hope, thanks to a man they call "Larry the Turkey Guy."

"We had more people responding and so we made sure that everyone had everything they needed," Larry Hardnett said. "But the finances this year were kind of low. … I had to go into my savings and make it all happen."

Hardnett has organized the meal distribution for nearly 20 years. This year, he said, the need was greater than ever.

Larry Hardnett aka 'Larry the Turkey Guy' helps remove box of food from truck
Larry Hardnett, better known as "Larry the Turkey Guy," helps remove a box of food from a truck. He's been making sure families have what they need on Thanksgiving for nearly two decades.

"In West Palm Beach a lot of people are losing their housing because they're going so high with rent, and the jobs are not paying us enough to pay rent," Mary Christie, a West Palm Beach mother, said.

Christie said it's been an incredibly tough year for her and her family.

"My daughter just lost her husband, and she has five kids," Christie told WPTV. "This Thanksgiving I was a little down because I lost my father, and I lost my mother. Any other time I'd be gone with my family, but just not up to it with losing my father."

For Dwarne McLaughlin, a father of six, he said he came by to get fresh meals because otherwise he couldn't afford the food.

"The economy and everything going up, so food is expensive," McLaughlin said.

He says even with two jobs, feeding six kids a Thanksgiving meal is nearly impossible.

"I'm very thankful they have this every year," McLaughlin said. "If not, then I don't know what I would do."

In total, "Larry the Turkey Guy," with the help of other organizations, handed out more than 1,000 meals.