Donations from across Newfoundland and Labrador helped set a new record for CBC's annual turkey drive, with a final count that finished well ahead of past years.

By the time the drive formally ended on Monday evening, the turkey tally reached 9,367.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic," said Eg Walters, the executive director of the Community Food Sharing Association, the umbrella organization that distributes donations to food banks around the province.

This year's drive eclipsed last year's by more than 2,500 turkeys.

Donations came from businesses, unions, professional groups and especially thousands of individuals, many of whom brought their turkeys straight to a participating location. 

The campaign involved College of the North Atlantic campuses, private stores and participating food banks. Canada Bread also donated a bag of breadcrumbs for each donated turkey. CBC organized drive-thru dropoffs in St. John's, Gander, Corner Brook and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. CBC in St. John's hosted a Saturday open house on Dec. 14. 

This year's turkey drive also included a social media campaign through CBC and Facebook.

Most of the donated turkeys are being distributed to needy families. Walters said last-minute donations that cannot be matched with a family will not go to waste.

"Any turkeys that are left over after Christmas will go out to the food banks in the new year, so it's a gift that keeps on giving," he said.

"We thank CBC, their employees, their listeners and their viewers."

Walters said he's astounded to see how the turkey drive has evolved from a suggestion by a now retired CBC employee who had an idea to do something good for the Christmas season.

"Who would've thought that nine years ago, when Dave Murphy put that little, small deep freeze here in the CBC lobby and started the turkey drive that it would grow to where it is today?" he said.