Thousands celebrating Thanksgiving with Second Harvest's help

SPOKANE, Wash. - Second Harvest turkey drive vo

More than 7,000 families got a helping hand at the Spokane Arena Tuesday at the distribution day for the Second Harvest turkey drive.

The doors opened at 8 a.m., with grateful families filing in to pick up food to serve for their Thanksgiving dinner.

"It's a really big help and it helps our family every year," Crystal Brand said.

Crystal Brand and the rest of her family were at the arena bright and early Tuesday morning.

"I have a daughter and a husband and if they didn't help us out we wouldn't get Thanksgiving," she said.

She's not too proud to accept the help; Crystal understands how things like this work.

"Tons of thanks. When I was younger we used to volunteer here before my accident so I'm really thankful for all their help and to the community for donating all the stuff they do to help our family," she said.

Recent federal cuts to food stamp programs mean family budgets are spread thin.

"The need is even greater, families are drying up their resources. So the fact that they can come down here today to get the full Thanksgiving dinner for Thursday is really, really special," Sheila Geraghty with the Salvation Army said.

7,000 turkeys are handed out at the arena; the rest of the donations go out to other regional food banks served by Second Harvest.

"Being able to provide over 11,000 meals for this event, a thousand plus volunteers, its just amazing that this community ... the support that they give us that they really take care of their own here," Rod Wieber with Second Harvest Food Bank said.

It's something the residents of the Lilac City should both take pride in and be thankful for.

"We're a really great city and I'm glad the people support the rest of us when we're down and it's a great place to live," Brand said.