By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Rescue Mission and the Denver Broncos organization distributed more than 2,000 Thanksgiving food boxes to families in need Tuesday. It’s food assistance many people didn’t expect to need several months ago, but the pandemic has since left thousands of tables without meals.

(credit: CBS)

“This year we are seeing a different need for the families we serve and the community at large. People who wouldn’t normally reach out to us for help are reaching out to us,” said Nicole Tschetter, Public Relations Manager for Denver Rescue Mission.

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The Denver Rescue Mission and several volunteers braved the cold to ensure hot dinners. They loaded trunk after trunk, keeping Thanksgiving traditions alive. Some volunteers even created their own.

(credit: CBS)

The Mast family plans to return next year.

“Our family is probably starting a tradition this year. We saw people with kids in the car, elderly people, families, singles. I feel like we’ve seen it all today. There’s a lot of need in our community and we’re happy to be able to help them out,” said Mary Mast, who was accompanied by two of her children.

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Thanksgiving Banquet-in-a-Box includes a turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned fruit, canned vegetables, yams, pumpkin, gravy and cranberry sauce.

“Now they can get through the holiday and be able to focus on paying for things like their rent and other groceries,” said Tschetter.

Nicole Tschetter (credit: CBS)

In 2020, a year where thousands of Coloradans lost their jobs, you can’t judge someone’s need by the price of their car. It’s a testament to how quickly life can change. It’s proof there will be good people, no matter how bad it gets.

“I got laid off from one of my jobs. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to pay rent the month of December. It’s pretty awesome that people actually still care,” said Carol, a recipient of one of DRM’s food boxes.

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There were still about 1,000 meals left over when this drive thru closed. There’s no telling how much the weather impacted people’s ability to come here. The Rescue Mission is giving the additional meals to their community partners so they can get them on the tables that need them most.

Tori Mason