Construction workers trade-in tools for meat and cheese to build sandwiches

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Some construction workers were putting their building skills to good use in a different kind of way. They traded in the hammer and nails for meat and cheese.

At Turner Construction, they celebrate the anniversary of the week they were founded by helping the community in some way each year. This year, they are building sandwiches for a local soup kitchen.

This is Turner Construction’s 119th anniversary.

Each year during the anniversary week, they take on a project to help a community group or non-profit. The entire company is focusing on food insecurity this year.

Here in Cincinnati, Our Daily Bread is getting 3,000 sandwiches by the end of the week. There will be a mix of turkey, ham, cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“Our Daily Bread has a maximum number of sandwiches they can take in each day, so we decided to hit the maximum,” explains Turner Construction community and citizenship manager Kristen Smitherman-Voltaire. “So, every day they can take a maximum of 600 sandwiches, so we said, ‘alright, for this week during founders’ week we’re going to make 600 sandwiches a day.’”

The staff is divided into five teams who will compete for the title of the leanest sandwich-making team.

The winning team will be judged on speed, quality, ability to work together, and following the nutrition guidelines.

The meat and cheese were purchased from a local black-owned deli, Country Meat Co.

“The really exciting thing is we’re competitive in nature,” said Smitherman-Voltaire. “We love to kind of make fun and enjoy each other’s time and company. And in the construction industry, we are team-oriented folks. So, anytime we can get folks on a team, working together, communicating, collaborating for something that’s really going to support and benefit the community, it’s a win-win-win.”

Due to COVID-19 protocol, the group could not go to Our Daily Bread to construct the sandwiches there. But, they hope others will be inspired by seeing the way they adapted to still help those in need.

“Definitely reach out to local food banks,” encourages Smitherman-Voltaire, “That’s a huge need and whether it’s non-perishable food items or sandwiches, there’s a way that you as an individual can make a difference.”

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