SALT LAKE CITY — Thousands of Thanksgiving meals were given to Utahns who are struggling with food insecurity thanks to the partnerships of several local organizations.
It was a very happy Thanksgiving eve for 3,700 people as they picked up a free meal courtesy of Crossroads Urban Center, Utah food bank, and Harmons as a part of the annual Thanksgiving Food Giveaway to Feed Utah’s Hungry.
Cars lined up around the parking lot to receive their holiday dinners and get a much needed dose of holiday cheer.
“We have a pretty high rate of food insecurity in this state,” said Jessica Roadman with Crossroads Urban Center Director of Community Outreach.
“There’s a tremendous need in the community and I just feel good when I get to participate myself” Doug Kirmer a Volunteer said. “Food insecurity is huge here and everywhere else just to know that something is on the thanksgiving table, [it] warms your heart.”
For those driving through or walking up, a free turkey and sides were provided thanks to the local organizations who sponsored the event and the abundance of volunteers who helped staff it.
“We have this beautiful problem every year of having too many volunteers,” Roadman said. “It's like a high of 40 degrees today and people are willing to stand for 3 hours to hold frozen turkeys and walk them into people's cars...that is such an act of generosity and kindness and community like I rarely see.”
One of those waiting in line was Debbie Garcia who was deeply grateful for the service that is made available every holiday season.
“It's between going hungry or coming and doing this," Garcia said. "I am so grateful every year that they have done this."
She has come to this event for the last four years for Christmas and Thanksgiving and believes that the free meals truly make her holiday season memorable.
“If I didn’t have this, Thanksgiving would be very different,” she said.
The center also does the same event during Christmas time so watch their social media pages for updates on the exact days and times.