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Holiday Turkey

Vernon Rice Memorial HOLIDAY Turkey Program

Food baskets lined up on the floor

Photo courtesy of Homewood Photography 

You are invited to donate $20 to purchase a holiday food basket containing a fresh turkey and vegetables from local and free-range farms for a family in need. The baskets will be delivered directly to the families and individuals in need, as determined by St. Anthony of Padua Church, for Thanksgiving and the December holidays. 

View this short video to see the smiles and healthy meals.





How to Donate

To participate in the 2013 holiday season, send a $20 check or money order, made payable to:

“JHU Turkey Program”

Office of Work, Life and Engagement,

Johns Hopkins at Eastern,

1101 E. 33rd Street, Suite C100

Baltimore, MD 21218 

Checks must be received by November 4 to help families for the Thanksgiving holiday and December 12 for the December holidays.

About Vernon Rice

Every day since 1976 at the end of his shift as a maintenance mechanic for the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus vehicle fleet, Vernon Rice stopped by St. Anthony of Padua Church to pick up five to  fifteen messages from people in the community who needed food, prescriptions filled, financial assistance to prevent evictions and utility shut-offs, or counseling. In 1993, after personally visiting hundreds of families each year, Vernon Rice decided to find a way to provide holiday dinners to families in difficult economic circumstances. He felt sure that Hopkins employees would be willing to donate food to those in need.

Meeting with Judy Peregoff, then director of the Johns Hopkins Human Resources Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs (FSRP), the two developed a plan to provide Butterball Turkey gift certificates to families. The certificates, good for a turkey or other food items, would be distributed in time for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. Peregoff's office would solicit donations and administer the program while Rice would provide a list of families in need.

Mr. Rice passed away on December 2, 2001. His son, Sam Rice, an HVAC technician at Hopkins, and other family members helped the former Faculty, Staff and Retiree Program maintain the partnership with church staff so that families in need received food during the holidays.

Mr. Rice worked for Hopkins for eighteen years and received the 1995 Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service. A record 85 certificates were delivered the year Mr. Rice died.

The program continues today as the Vernon Rice Memorial Holiday Turkey Program.  Thanks to your generosity, more than 6,000 pounds of food was provided to 275 families who received a food basket containing a fresh turkey and vegetables from local and free range farms for the 2012 holidays.

For more information, please contact Brandi Monroe Payton at or 443-997-7000.