PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD)- The South Side Mission is hosting their 52nd annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway, and they need your help.

Volunteers from meal preppers to delivery drivers are needed at The South Side Mission the entire week of Thanksgiving. Individuals can help cook and pack the food into their containers the week leading up to Thanksgiving Day, serve food at their sit-down meals, or deliver meals to families in need.

Rich Draeger, Development Manager at South Side Mission, speaks on the importance of this meal giveaway. “I think this is truly the essence of Thanksgiving because we get requests, and people will share things with us like I’m a shut in, I don’t have any family, or I don’t know anybody I can go to.”

Draeger says last year they had around 500 volunteers for cooking and packing the food and 300 volunteers to deliver the meals. “Honestly, our volunteers that deliver the meals will come back and tell us oh my gosh, I wasn’t sure about doing this, but I was really blessed as well.”

Families in need can receive a maximum of eight home cooked meals per household. If you would like to sign up to receive a meal or volunteer, call the South Side Mission (309-676-4604) or visit their Facebook page.

Draeger says they estimate delivering 2700 meals which will feed approximately 500 families.