Hundreds of people in the Tennessee Valley will receive a free Thanksgiving meal to take home to their families.
For roughly 20 years, the Downtown Rescue Mission has handed out turkey boxes to those in need of some help around Thanksgiving.
President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Overholt told WAAY 31 that in the first year of this outreach, the Mission handed out 50 boxes. This year, they're expecting to give away more than 800.
"It's a great thing, because we're able to help some folks that may not have a Thanksgiving meal if it were not for the Mission," Overholt said.
People from around north Alabama and southern Tennessee come down to get a helping hand for the holiday. The Mission expects to serve about a thousand meals on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Kathy Smith was one of many who showed up on Monday to receive her box. She said recent tragedies in her life have made this type of outreach invaluable in her life.
"I had a brother and a mother pass and I was left with some unsettled debts that I've been paying. It's just been taking it all. And for them to help me have some food on my table for Thanksgiving, it means a whole lot," Smith said.
The boxes handed out on Monday and Tuesday were for those who registered ahead of time. The meals on Wednesday and Thursday are open to the community. They will be served from 11 a.m. - 1p.m. at the Downtown Rescue Mission at 1400 Evangel Drive in Huntsville.