Giving Thanks This Season

November 25, 2010 Updated Nov 25, 2010 at 6:36 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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November 25, 2010 Updated Nov 25, 2010 at 6:36 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY ( wkbw ) The Thanksgiving holiday was made brighter for many thanks to the generosity of Western New Yorkers.

Thousands of needy local families enjoyed traditional Thanksgiving meals thanks to the City Mission, the Salvation Army, and other churches and organizations.

The City Mission relies on volunteers to pack, load, and deliver meals. With a struggling economy, the need is greater this year.

Stuart Harper, Executive Director of the Buffalo City Mission explained, "Meals on Wheels doesn't deliver on holidays, so we do this both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have a call in line. Two years ago we delivered 2,000 meals. This year we will do 3,500, so that is almost double what we did 2 years ago."

Several other local organizations are also stepping up today to help those in need.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown joined his family at the Salvation Army to assist in serving meals to those in need.

The Food Bank of WNY distributed tons of food to area residents this year, following a successful food drive with 97 Rock personality DJ Jickster.