D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), well known for his annual turkey giveaway in Southeast Washington, had no Butterballs available for residents Tuesday morning after he failed to pay Giant food stores $26,000 for their delivery.
In a news release, Barry said he had $17,000, falling short by $9,000, but promised Giant that the rest was coming. " ... 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," a news release read.
He wanted the turkeys in advance.
Barry says a compromise was struck to thaw and deliver turkeys Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. at Union Temple Church.
Still, Barry isn't in holiday bliss. " ... Giant's intractability on this issue was heartless," Barry said.
But there have been signs that Barry was struggling this year to come up with the money needed to pay for the turkeys.
According to council sources, Barry recently sent United Medical Center a letter asking it to give him $5,000 for the turkey giveaway, even though the hospital's financial struggles have been well-documented.
Jamie Miller, a spokesman for Giant, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.