HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There may be no Thanksgiving parade in the traditional sense this year in Houston, but cars lined up well before dawn Saturday to take part in one of several free food distribution events across the city.
Five-thousand families benefitted from a large-scale food distribution event at NRG, which included items needed to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. The drive-thru giveaway provided people with meals, face masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers. The giveaway was sponsored by H-E-B, Reliant, Cigna, the Houston Food Bank, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and the City of Houston.
"It is so special," one participant said. "We thank God for the giveaways that are helping people that are not working. We are thanking God so much."
The giveaways aren't a new tradition, but have risen in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you missed the large event at NRG, there are other events around the area that may still be offering food and supplies while they last.
With school out for many students this coming week, Houston ISD will provide meals at several locations on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
All sites will provide meals, essential hygiene kits and cleaning supplies. Student meals are available to any child between 1 and 18 years old and engaged in virtual learning. If children are not in the car, families must provide birth certificates or proof of enrollment in and school district for each child needing meals.
State Rep. Mary Ann Perez planned to give away vouchers for an H-E-B turkey to 100 people on Saturday, Nov. 21.
State Senator Borris Miles continues his tradition of giving away turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving with three locations on Saturday.
State Rep. Ron Reynolds joins the American Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Rep. Al Green and mayor Yolanda Ford to hand out free turkeys and food on Saturday.
The nonprofit group Families Helping Families aims to feed 300 families on Saturday at the Smart Financial Centre. Turkey and a week's worth of groceries will be given away until 5 p.m.
If you miss the weekend distributions, several organizations are planning a giveaway on Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.