Thanksgiving just got a little easier for families who received a free turkey from the Erie City Mission.

This year, volunteers handed out more than 800 turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

The director of development said inflation is impacting families across the region, and they host this event each year to make Thanksgiving more manageable.

“A lot of people have been through a lot these past couple of years, and there’s a lot of people that we serve 365 days a year that really have no family or no place to gather during the holidays. This is just one way they can come in, be part of our family and have something to go home to,” said Erin Layden, director of development at the Erie City Mission.

Layden said they started distributing the meals at 8:00 a.m. on Monday and ran out of turkeys by 10:30 a.m. She noted this wouldn’t be possible without help from the community.

“We had well over 60 volunteers come out just to help today, and we had people stopping at the doors to see if they could fill in where needed. We just want to thank our community for coming out and really helping us,” said Layden.

One mother who received a turkey said she appreciates the mission’s tradition and that her family will too.

“With the inflation and everything, it’s really hard and when you have kids and everything, you know? It’s a godsend actually,” said Barbara Harrison, a mother preparing for Thanksgiving. “Trust me, they’re going to be excited now that they can have one.”