PHOENIX — Monday marked St. Mary's Food Bank's turkey distribution day, an annual tradition that helps so many people in Arizona.
This year, it was particularly important as many people are out of work because of COVID-19.
“It’s a big, big help, especially now the way things are. Times are tough," said Steve, who did not wish to share his last name and was the first of many in the walk-up line.
He arrived at 5:30 a.m. Monday morning. Gates were not scheduled to open for another two and a half hours.
But for him, it was worth the wait.
“I plan on cooking dinner for me and my girlfriend and our two kids, having a little dinner at home," Steve said.
Countless cars lined the dark roads surrounding 31st Avenue and Thomas Road in the early morning hours.
Thousands of Arizonans are expected to take advantage of the food bank’s offering. And there’s still time for others to do the same.
'We’ll be here (8 a.m.) to noon on Tuesday, (8 a.m.) to noon Wednesday. We anticipate having plenty of food for everybody," said Jerry Brown, who is the director of communications for St. Mary's Food Bank.
For those looking to give back, St. Mary’s Food Bank is collecting turkey, food, and cash donations from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through Wednesday.
"Anything you like to see on your table for Thanksgiving is great. Cranberry sauce, potatoes, vegetables, fruits," Brown said.
The food bank is about 1,100 turkeys shy of its 12,000 turkey goal, and they anticipate that they'll need more than that.
"We’ll take whatever you can give, and try to give it to a family. Make sure that they have one day of normal out of all this chaos.”
More than 4,000 turkeys have already been donated, but the food bank has a goal of upwards of 5,000.