Meals on Wheels delivers Thanksgiving to families

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Volunteers with Meals on Wheels of Tampa helped deliver bags of food to hundreds of families Thanksgiving morning.

The bags were filled with a lot of items including pies, baked goods, cards and flowers and taken to more than 700 people, most of whom are either elderly, disabled, or can't leave their home for another reason.

"We decided earlier this year that we wanted to help out," said Chris Jimenez, who was volunteering.

"My aunt and uncle are participating in Meals on Wheels this year because they're not doing very well and haven't been able to cook for themselves. So we signed on and they've got about three meals a week that they get. And we just thought that we wanted to definitely say 'thank you' for what they're doing for our family."

Organizers said the goal of this mission is to let the homebound members of Tampa know that people, even strangers, are thinking about them during the holiday season.

"We serve these folks meals everyday, but today is a special day. They get flowers and baked goodies  and little things just to remind them that they are loved," said Stephen King, the organization's executive director.

All Thanksgiving "morning goodies" have been collected from the community, with contributions from  Hillsborough County schools and many faith-based organizations.

Volunteers said, as important as the food is, there's something else that a lot of people appreciate just as much.

"A lot of times, you're the only person that they see all day long," said Stephanie Wood, a volunteer. "I have so much to be thankful for in my family, it's just a tradition that we always like to do something on Thanksgiving to give back to other people that don't."