Loose Lips

Read: Marion Barry’s Press Release on Turkeygate

LL is late to the party on today's hot story about Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry's war on Giant over undelivered free turkeys to his constituents. Anything LL writes won't compare to the press release Barry's office has already released, so here it is, enjoy:

The efforts of Marion Barry, Ward 8 Councilmember, and a senior member of the D.C. Council to deliver 2,000 turkeys to Ward 8 residents today has been thwarted and postponed due to the Giant Grocery Store’s corporate inflexibility.

Barry had raised and received $17 of the $26 thousand dollars that Giant would receive for the turkeys that would have been distributed today however, Giant insisted that the full $26 thousand dollars be received by the store on Monday and that without full payment, the Company would not delivery the birds to Barry.

“First of all,  I must apologize to the Ward 8 community for Giant’s failure to provide timely support to the Community.  It’s simply pathetic and incomprehensible to me that a multi-billion dollar corporation, like Giant, would take a position that would deprive children, seniors and other adults of food for the Thanksgiving holiday”, Barry said.

“I  told  Chris Pardisins of Giant that my corporate contributions weren’t pie in the sky promises, but simply delayed by the bureaucracy of their organizations, as his Company’s ability to be flexible and accommodation of this situation seemed to be, and that Giant’s intractability on this issue was heartless”, Barry added.

Mr. Pardisins informed Barry only last night that the Company would not provide 2,000 turkeys to him for distribution today in advance of full payment, despite assurances from Barry that the money would be forthcoming in the next two days.

After hours of painstaking negotiation between Barry and the Company late last night and early this morning, Giant relinquished, promising to begin to thaw the turkeys today for delivery and distribution by Barry tomorrow morning.

“While I am now happy that Giant, albeit belatedly, reversed its decision, it pains me that Giant was so intractable on its position and reluctant to accommodate the situation, and that this distribution, as it is, still won’t fully meet the needs of the Community in Ward 8”.

The turkeys will now be distributed from the Union Temple church, locate at 1225 W Street, S.E. beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • joan

    Who's the "senior member of the DC Council" involved in this?


    Giant Food, should donate the turkey's themselves for as many benefits that they have recieved from this city over the year's, 26,000.00 is no drop in the bucket I know but after all it's Thanksgiving. From a business prospective I would think that it promotes a certain level of loyalty, but then again who am I?

  • Truth Hurts

    Why would anybody question Barry's creditworthiness? I mean, it's not like he's a tax dodger.

  • Wendy Glenn

    This issue is "not" about Marion Barry or "his" credit worthiness but about a billion-dollar company like Giant and it's inability to support the community that has supported it.

    Let's face it Giant is among the most expensive food stores in the region and yet Ward 8 has welcomed this store into its community, supported it and help it to thrive.

    Ward 8 has an umemployment rate of over 30% and a poverty rate of over 47% and Giant Food store could not see its way to making a philanthropic donation to this community in the form of some turkeys. Marion Barry did not ask them to give him $9,000.00; he didn't even ask Giant to give him the turkeys for free, what he asked was to work with him until the full funding was received.

    I am just so disheartened that, yet again, this community can support big business and when it is time for big business to support this community they turn their backs on the community as a whole.

    If nothing else, Giant should have delivered the turkey's, minus the drama, waited for the remaining funds or donated the turkeys to a community that is severely struggling and written it off at the end of the years as a charitable contribution.

    Shame on Giant Foods!

  • http://lifein.mvsna.org Si Kailian

    hmm, frozen turkey is 47 cents a lb at giant. are they giving out 26 lb turkeys? or charging the fresh rate for frozen birds they defrost themselves? Maybe Barry should buy those frozen birds at the frozen rate and defrost em himself.

  • Wendy Glenn

    The turkeys are about $13.00 each.

  • http://districtdiaries.blogspot.com/ The Diarist

    Yeah, shame on Giant!

    And while we're at it, shame on Safeway for not stepping up and filling in the turkey gap. Lord knows the city has done a ton for that business too.

    And Whole Foods ... what family wouldn't love an organic turkey for Thanksgiving!

    Hey, didn't Yes! Organic Market just open? Where were they today?

    Ooo, yeah! Harris Teeter is just across the Anacostia. They could have driven over a few dozen birds, couldn't they?

    I say we boycott all of these money-grubbing markets until they start giving food away. Who's with me?!

  • Truth Hurts

    @ Wendy Glenn: I agree that Giant should give back to the community. (And it's my impression that Giant has a pretty good track record of community service).

    Yet Barry doesn't distribute turkeys to Ward 8 voters anonymously. He makes certain everyone knows he (not Giant) supplied their turkeys. Barry's trying to make this Giant v. low income folks, when it's really Giant v. Barry.

    In reality, the only victims are low income families who may not get the turkey they were counting on. That's sad. If you come up with a creative, anonymous way to help these folks, count me in for 5 turkeys. Seriously.

  • Sally

    @Wendy: Would you like some cheese to go along with your whine?

    Giant owes the Ward 8 community absolutely nothing. Ward 8 didn't "welcome" Giant into the community; Ward 8 was desperate for ANY grocery stores and Giant went with one in the ward, even though it's shoplifting statistics are among the highest in the city.

    Bottom line: It's not about you and other residents' sense of entitlement. Giant owes you nothing. It's about Marion Barry thinking he deserves something for free and that he has some sort of credibility when it comes to paying his bills.

    Because, when you get down to it, does anyone really believe Barry would have paid the remainder of the bill? Of course not. He would have skipped out on it and blamed Giant for being so heartless as to expect he would keep his promise.

  • SallyShutupuracistbitch

    What shoplifting statistics are you referring to? You are pulling stuff out of your butt. Giant is the only grocery story in an area with pretty startling statistics when it comes to poverty, income, etc. It follow from that, that they would have programs to benefit their neighbors. Thanksgiving, given that it is a grocery store, seems as a perfect fit for such a time to give back.

  • Sally

    @Nimrod above - Stop waiting for handouts and get a job. It's a perfect time for you to give back to DC taxpayers by not staying on welfare during this time of year.

  • Sallythanksforprovingthaturaracistbitch

    More proof of your racial bias:

    1.) You didn't answer my question on where you got the grocery store shoplifting statistics that you cited as to why Giant did Ward 8 a favor by opening up a business there. Is it safe to assume that you made up that fact, based on racially/class based assumptions?

    2.) You told me to get a job. Who says that I am not employed? Is it because I defended a position that suggests that I sympathize with Ward 8 residents? Then you suggested that I was on welfare? More assuming based on racial/class lines. This is why I called you a racist bitch.

    Who says that I don't make more money than you? (Which is very likely) Who says that I am not more educated than you? (Which is very likely)

    Stop making assumptions, and find some other way to make yourself feel better for the undistinguished, mediocre life that your hateful comments insinuate you must lead.

  • downtown rez

    Next year Giant should donate 1000 turkeys out of it's own parking lot, and cut out the middleman. Quicker, easier, less drama that way.
    And Barry can wait in line with everyone else.

  • PHairston

    Hello All. The mayor-for-life calling Giant pathetic? Boy, does Barry have some big balls! I'm sick of pathetic men like Barry being in politics for life, simply because poor, black people look up to him and vote him in yr after yr. Why? Isn't his ward STILL the poorest ward in the district? What has he really done for these citizens besides make a good living on the DC council? Truth be told, when will black people realize it's the choices that we make in life that determine where we get in life. If single, unemployed, young women continue to have 3,4,5 babies by as many different single, unemployed fathers, then most likely they will find themselves in poverty. Am I judging? No, simply stating facts, just stating facts. After all, children don't ask to be born, it's the choices that we women make. Peace.

  • Skipper

    I always enjoy online flame wars over who makes more money, who's employed, etc. Very entertaining.

    And good suggestion by DRez - cut out the political hack middleman and avoid idiotic drama like this.

  • Pleasehelpmeunderstand

    Why is there such a big deal about feeding people for Thanksgiving. What about feeding people the other 364 days in a year. What homeless and low-income people only eat on Thanksgiving. I am pretty sure that the people who are receiving these free Turkeys are the same people who receive foot stamps and use them to buy junk food, expensive seafood and/or follow me in the gocery store to sell them to me. And you say you can't buy a $12-$13 Turkey.

  • TheresaDudleyof PGCisUgly

    We must acknowledge folk are hungry year-round(for turkey) and this fix for one day is pathetic by all involved. As a PG County school teacher I hate BLACK men and resent the fact I am BLACK with 2 ugly Black kids.
    I wish the school where I got laid -off terminated or fired/transferred/administration decision at Drew-Freeman in Suitland would let me teach the racist curriculm to the lil Black kids that I despise. I was teaching the kids how to call each other nasty names and keep them in poverty, like Marion B was saying the other day about welfare TANF. Yeah, i may be fat, bi-polar and mentally-ILL and love all things white epecially white dudes I meet on the internet.

    Thanx to the negro Judge Davis who let my White corrupt friend 'Richard Delabrer' og PG Police put of jail. All he did was excort/extort illegal cigarettes and alcohol and some drugs from North Carolina with his police car and was also an enforcer for the liquor store owner and he is white and I atttended his court bail hearing. But never will I come to court for a Black and Jack Johnson, M Barry, Cong Wm. Jefferson I hate your kind.

  • Lawanda

    These "ghetto dwellers" should be forced to clean up their neighborhoods. If they do a good job then they can be approved for a free turkey. Btw, it's not racist to ball a spade a spade. "Ignant" black fools!!!!

  • Truth Hurts

    Racist commenters, whether white or black, should skip this post.

    To everyone else, best wishes on Thanksgiving! Let's take the high road and continue treating one another with civility.


    great, a city full of people who need handhouts for Thanksgiving dinner. This is what's wrong with this country.

    There are 365 days in a year and you can't come up with *Thanksgiving* dinner on your own? What do you do the rest of the year, eat peanuts from a vending-machine? Dumpster-dive?

    Get a grip, people. This isn't a great thing. It's a bad thing. If there's one thing that you need to be able to do on your own, it's buy your own food for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Look for a handout the other 363 days of the year. But on Thanksgiving and Christmas take care of yourself, good grief.

  • Confused

    What does this have to do with race or racism? Yes this occurred in an all black ward, but I don't think Giant would be so happy give away $9,000 worth of food (especially since I would assume they had an agreement or contract for payment)to whites either.

    Its a very sad thing to have occurred and I wish that everyone in this city had a turkey this thanksgiving (I know they didn't) but lets not make everything out to be a race battle.