TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Hundreds of cars lined the streets surrounding Benjamin Franklin Elementary School on Saturday to get free items for Thanksgiving dinner.

Assistant agency director for Catholic Charities Jennifer Tames said it was essential to provide for those in need ahead of the holidays.

“We recognize that there are so many families and seniors in our community who are still struggling,” she said. “We’re talking about providing food that can help a family to create a meal and bring the family together, bring friends together, and really bond and have that opportunity to sit down and celebrate together, that makes memories, that makes stories.”

It took a lot of community members to hand out the 700 turkeys. Catholic Charities was joined by several local sponsors, including Duke Energy, Elanco, and Terre Haute Rotary. Rotary President Thom Foster called Saturday a “rewarding experience.”

“This project is really special because there’s a lot of people here, and that’s a testament that there are a lot of folks that would be sitting around the Thanksgiving table next week and might not have that much,” he said.

Tames thanked those community partners and volunteers who braved the cold morning to help.

“We do have a staff, but a small staff. We rely very heavily on our community partners, on individuals to come volunteer their time,” she said. “We truly could not do it without the support of the community and our volunteers. They are who help to make this go so smoothly.”

Saturday’s giveaway was part of Catholic Charities’ bread and produce distribution event they put on the third Saturday of every month.