With Thanksgiving less than a week away, many organizations are working to give back to those who are less fortunate in our community.

The power of the holiday spirit is helping the community come together to make sure as many families as possible have enough to eat this Thanksgiving.

The joy of the holidays also brings a harsh reality. More than 44 million people in the United States face food insecurity. According to Feeding America, 1 in 5 are children.

Organizations like the Erie City Mission and A Bridge to Independence are stepping up to help local families.

On Monday, Nov., 20 the Erie City Mission will be holding their well known, 12th annual turkey distribution. Doors open at 8 a.m. and just under 1,000 turkeys will be given away on a first come first serve basis.

“For weeks we get calls of ‘hey, can I sign up to get one?’ Yes, of course but you can just come for free,” said Katie Peppers, development associate, Erie City Mission. “It is the most beautiful time of the year as well because everybody coming out of the woodworks people that we have never met, people that we’ve known for years they’re all coming to us to say we want to love on our city how can we help.”

And on Tuesday, A Bridge to Independence will be holding their third Thankful Bag Initiative.

The organization will be giving away 75 turkeys on first come first serve basis but said if you are in need, give them a call.

“We work with individuals who have physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and just the need that they have we see on a daily basis,” said Tina Asmus, chief operations officer, A Bridge to Independence.

It’s a community effort to make sure these giveaways remain free and accessible for the people who need them most. Both organizations have taken the last couple of weeks to gather supplies to make a complete Thanksgiving meal.

“It’s something different. Something that we all take granted for everyday that they don’t so, it’s something that we feel that we are thankful for that we would like to share with them,” Asmus said.

“The mission of the business is to restore hope in our community and we are committed to that. This is our city, it’s our mission and we’re here to support our neighbors,” Peppers went on to say.

For more information on both of these events you can visit the Erie City Mission website here and A Bridge to Independence’s website here.