ST. LOUIS – It’s an annual tradition and one that many families desperately need right now.

“For 25 years, the Urban League is proud to put on one of the largest distributions in the St. Louis region,” Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League Metropolitan St. Louis, said. “Then they get the food, the turkey, the wipes and gloves, and sanitizers and masks. So, it’s generally about $150 per person we are able to give out to each family.”

“It’s amazing,” says Katrina Plunk. “It’s good these people are out here helping people that need it.”

At the Urban League headquarters on North Kingshighway, a sea of safety vests and volunteers with Thanksgiving staples were boxed up and loaded into automobiles.

“Part of our mission is nourishing people’s lives,” Ted Schnuck, executive vice president of Schnucks Markets, said. “So, that’s not only food in our stores, but partnering with community organizations helping what we can. So, it’s not only important we donate what we can, but also use our time as well to help.”

Similar Urban League turkey giveaways were held Monday in East St. Louis, helping more than 500 families, with another set for Wednesday in north St. Louis County. On Tuesday, nearly 3,000 families received turkeys and meals.

“Well, you know, it really shows the kindred spirit of those that want to give back is alive,” James Clark, vice president of public safety for Urban League Metropolitan St. Louis, said. “People are willing to step up right now when we see all that is going on not only in St. Louis, but on the whole globe. There’s a need for more compassion and more caring.”

“I appreciate to get to come out and get a free turkey,” Guy Long said. “A lot of people need it. I’m looking for housing right now and they are helping out a lot of people out here.”