DENVER (CBS4) – Thanksgiving is just a few days away but some may not be able to enjoy a warm meal this holiday.

There is a shortage of donations for charitable organizations working to collect food to distribute to those less fortunate.

The Denver Rescue Mission needs donations to triple in order to meet the need this Thanksgiving. The requests have been steadily growing over the past few years and this year the Denver Rescue Mission has been asked to supply more than 18,000 turkeys.

The mission acts as a distributor of sorts — supplying turkeys to smaller agencies and churches. It has a big Thanksgiving banquet of its own as well, but it needs thousands and thousands more turkeys to complete all of this year’s orders.

There was hardly parking space on several city blocks surrounding the epicenter of a thanksgiving meal distribution site on Saturday. The Epworth Foundation set up an assembly line in front of its church. Six-hundred volunteers assembled Thanksgiving meals into boxes, transferred them to the start of a line that spanned a couple of city blocks and loaded them into awaiting shopping carts. Volunteers pushed them and packed them into the cars of people receiving the meals.

While the Epworth Foundation follows a tradition of its own, other organizations traditionally turn toward the Denver Rescue Mission to supply them with turkeys. The mission takes orders and fills them.

Even though Colorado has been steadily creating more jobs and the unemployment rate has dropped by fractions of a percentage point, the need to help families in need has tripled in recent years.

Somehow in years past people have always managed to donate enough turkeys to fill all of the Rescue Mission’s orders in the nick of time. Kyle Petrie with the mission hopes that will be the case again this year.

“When I started five years ago we were doing about 7,000 turkeys and we thought that was amazing,” Petrie said. “This year we have 18,500 turkeys that have been requested.”

Donate money through the Denver Rescue Mission’s website, which will go to purchasing turkeys. Or bring one by the Rescue Mission’s shelter which is located at Lawrence and Park Avenue West.


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