SPOKANE, Wash. -

Thousands lined up for a Thanksgiving dinner early Tuesday morning as the Salvation Army's annual turkey distribution drew needy families in from across the area for a free meal.

The line started forming at 6 a.m. and it stretched out the building and down the block 200 yards, with the frozen birds flying out the door at an average of one every six seconds.

John Dick, and the hundreds behind him, shared the same stories.

"Just the economy," John Dick said.

"We're struggling trying to find jobs," Mary Lamb said.

"By the time I pay the rent and bills I'm broke," Dick added.

Those who lined up early waited more than an hour for their turkeys and say it was well worth it.

The Salvation Army anticipated it will hand out more than 6,000 full thanksgiving dinners by the end of the day Tuesday.

"We only have 6,800 turkeys this year and because the weather's so nice I'm a little worried about running out," Sheila Geraghty with the Salvation Army said.

Second Harvest Food Bank supplied the turkeys and wasn't surprised by the turnout.

"Food bank lines have been long and demand for food assistance has been high," Rod Weiber with 2nd Harvest Food Bank said.

For some, it was their first time in this line but others have been here before, and it takes an army of 500 volunteers to make the turkey distribution run quickly. Volunteer Sue Dunn brought her 7-year-old son Jordan to help.

"I think he'll realize there are people here who don't have what he gets to have and hopefully that sticks with him," Dunn said.