Venice-based nonprofit delivering Thanksgiving meals to Caribbean islands

An Embraer 110 loaded with more than 180 turkeys took off from Sarasota County this morning to deliver Thanksgiving meals to missionaries in the Bahamas and Haiti.

It’s part of Agape Flights’ missionary Thanksgiving project, which brings everything needed to prepare a traditional feast – from the turkey to the whipped cream for pumpkin pie.

"Here it’s so easy to just go grab an aerosol can of whipped cream, but you can’t find it there. Just the simple things, I know there are missionaries there that look forward to this every year specifically for the whipped cream or mini marshmallows, so I have to make sure that’s there on time," said missionary services manager Brooklynn Graybill.

It’s a chance for missionaries and their families to feast on foods not easily found overseas, and to share the experience of an American thanksgiving with their communities.

READ: FAA expects Tuesday before Thanksgiving to be busiest travel day

"The Thanksgiving project is a time when they can bring people in and share their culture with the Haitians or the Dominicans or Bahamians and a special time of year to gather people around and share food, have a great conversation and share the love of god with their missions," said Graybill.

Agape Flights typically makes two trips a week to deliver supplies to hundreds of missionaries across Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.

The nonprofit also helps out in disaster areas and at times of crisis. After Hurricane Ian swept through Florida, a flight loaded with hard-to-come-by supplies and volunteers was sent to southwest Florida to help out in neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Ian.

PREVIOUS: Venice-based Agape Flights flies Hurricane Ian relief supplies to Southwest Florida

Agape Flights crews delivered things like tarps, construction materials, food, and hygiene products and pitched in to repair damaged roofs and gut-flooded homes.