Thanksgiving is a time when many families come together around a meal.
But for a growing number of North Texans this year, that will not be possible due to financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many non-profits are now stepping up to help.
Images from SKY4 Friday showed a growing number of North Texans in desperate need of help.
A massive food drive at AT&T Stadium fed thousands of families as we head into the week of Thanksgiving.
The Mega Mobile Market was set up by the Tarrant Area Food Bank.
It's the largest in the organization's history, and many of the recipients are new.
“We hit a hard time because she can't go to work, and I've been taking time off to help her, so benefits like these, we look out for them,” one family said.
Non-profits all across North Texas are seeing unprecedented demand going into the holiday season due to the pandemic.
“About 40% of the people we're serving now have never had to have access to food assistance before,” NTFB CEO Trisha Cunningham said.
Last weekend, the North Texas Food Bank did its own Thanksgiving food drive at Fair park, feeding some 25,000 people in a single day.
Cunningham said those in need can use the NTFB’s website to find local food pantries anytime.
“Right now, because of COVID, we believe there are 900,000 people in our serving area that wonder where their next nutritious meal is coming from,” she said.
“It's definitely not going to slow down,” Bethany Hawks said.
Major Bethany Hawks is with the Salvation Army.
She said the traditional Thanksgiving day meal service will not be open to the public this year.
Still, the organization is providing turkey, hams, and meal kits through its expanded 13 drive-thru food pantries.
“We've all become experts in being innovative in our ways in which we serve this year,” she explained. “We've also given out over $1 million in rent and utilities to help people stay placed in their homes so they don't become homeless.”
And people are grateful for the help.
“And to see people give back without question, it's just awesome,” one family said.
LINKS TO FOOD BANKS: