(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A local non-profit is striving to make sure all St. Joseph families have a meal on their table this Thanksgiving holiday.
The Second Harvest Community Food Bank held its 15th annual Turkey Distribution Day Tuesday morning and afternoon. It allowed individuals who obtained a Turkey Day voucher from Fresh Start before the event to pick up a variety of free Thanksgiving Day foods.
"They're going to be getting items like a full-blown turkey, they're going to get all of the fixings. So, some boxed potatoes, some boxed cake mix and things like that." Blake Haynes, communications coordinator for Second Harvest, said.
The Food Bank had three local distribution sites: Second Harvest Community Food Bank, Southside Health Center and Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church. In total, the non-profit handed out around 900 Thanksgiving meals to families in need.
"You know, family is everything," Chad Higdon, Second Harvest CEO, said. "To be able to bring a family together to be able to sit around the table and to gather for that meal, and to know that there's comfort in sharing whatever is going on with the people you love, it's just an honor for us to be a part of that."
The event also brought together volunteers from all across the community to hand out the food while cars drove through the line. Haynes said a lot of the food they handed out was made possible with a monetary donation from Tyson Foods.
"Whether it's one to 500 [meals], you know, whenever you're able to provide something like this to a family and know what impact it makes on them, it's awesome," Haynes said.
Turkey Distribution Day drew in hundreds of people like it does each year, and some, like Kenny Engum, even lined up three hours before the event started just to be one of the first to go through.
"We got here at about nine o'clock," Engum said. "We sat there and camped out until, you know, it got started and all."
But, he added it's worth the wait to be able to bring home a nice Thanksgiving meal for his family.
"It helps us out a lot because, you know, I can't work right now - I'm trying to get disability," Engum said. "It helps us out tremendously."