Feeding Chittenden wants every Vermonter to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner. Wednesday, it handed out to-go meals to people around Chittenden County.

“It’s just a lifesaver,” Cindy Smith said.

Smith was one of hundreds of Vermonters lined up as the group passed out turkeys and all the traditional thanksgiving fixings.

“That’s one stress we can take off their plate,” Anna McMahon with Feeding Chittenden said.

The organization is working to put turkey dinner on the table for a few thousand people. Staff say they’re seeing a lot of Vermonters seeking support for the first time. They mention the need becomes even greater this time of year.

“As it gets colder out, people have to decide how they’re going to pay for rent, utilities, and medication,” McMahon said. “Generally, food is the first thing that gets cut.”

That’s something Smith can resonate with. She’s a veteran, who says her small pension from the VA just doesn’t cut it.

“I’m on food stamps, they run out by the third week of the month,” she said. “If it wasn’t for this place, I wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving meal.”

Feeling thankful, Smith says she has everything needed to whip up a meal, and even invite a few people experiencing homelessness inside of her home.

“I have a place to cook dinner and they live outside,” she said. “I enjoy cooking and they provide milk, all the basics, eggs, you get fruit and bread and cakes.”

Staff say donations are still needed to make this happen. $25 dollars will help feed a family of four.

“It’s the safest, easiest place for people to donate and we can stretch those dollars even more.”

Annually, Feeding Chittenden serves 12,000 Vermonters.