CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Over 6,000 Thanksgiving meals were given out this year at the annual Fall Feast in downtown Cincinnati. Organizers say the numbers are up from last year when they served 3,800 meals.
In all, 900 volunteers came out to make the event a success.
In some ways organizers were pleased to know they are reaching more people every year, but they say it is also a sad sign of the times.
Knowing many people have had a tough year, they work to make the event as much of a celebration as possible.
In addition to the food, they have music, games, face painting, balloons and more.
They also recognize many of the people that stop in are in need of more than just a hot meal so they offer other free services like flu shots and haircuts.
The event organizer says the economy has sent stereotypes out the window, bringing in people from all backgrounds to take their place at the table for this Thanksgiving meal.
"We're seeing all walks of life. We're seeing families who have lost their jobs [or] one parent works, one parent doesn't," event chairman Erin Klotzbach explained.
Melissa Bryant is one of the people impacted by the free event. She and her husband lost their jobs last December. She says they have been able to get through the last year with the help of the community.
"There are a lot of blessing here in Cincinnati, you just have to call," Bryant said.
She says events like Fall Feast are important for her to share with her children, especially during the holidays.
"It shows the kids that no matter what things are going to be OK," she said.