LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Thousands of Denver-area families will have a hearty Thanksgiving dinner this year. They got a free meal thanks to the Jeffco Action Center.
Drivers pulled up and collected their food. But the customers didn’t pay — they’re giving thanks for a free Thanksgiving dinner, including a turkey and all the fixins.
“It’s going to help tremendously because I don’t get paid again until the 30th,” Cynthia Martinez said.
“It’s so hard nowadays just not working; being laid off,” Theresa Lucero said.
Many of the stories were similar at the Action Center’s Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. They are middle class families that have fallen on hard times that cannot afford to pay for Thanksgiving.
“We call this our seasonal prevention program and this is helping families so they don’t use rent money or utility money to buy Thanksgiving,” Mag Strittmatter with the Action Center said.
Strittmatter enjoys being able to give away thousands of free Thanksgiving dinners to families in need. Seeing the number of people come out this year increase compared to last is a reality check.
“It shows you how razor thin many people’s budgets are right now,” Strittmatter said.
There were nearly 2,700 families that came out to get their free turkey and dinner. There were so many families in need the line was stretched clear around the parking lot.
“I was unemployed for a year and a half and finally stuff like this happens. It makes me feel good that people care,” Chris Martinez said.
Just as quickly as they drove in, they drove out with a dinner for the whole family. Despite rough times people can now say they have at least one think to be thankful for.
The Thanksgiving dinner giveaway wrapped up at 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Jeffco Action Center is organizing another giveaway just in time for Christmas.