PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It all started with a South Side restaurant wanting to help the needy on the Thanksgiving holiday, but now it has become a yearly tradition of giving.

For the 9th year in a row, Tom’s Diner, the South Side Rotary Club and dozens of other volunteers prepared food for the elderly and needy with the Pittsburgh Police making the deliveries.

There were plenty of Pittsburgh police cruisers outside of Tom’s Diner on Carson Street Thursday morning, but not because anything bad was happening inside.

Instead, dozens of volunteers were preparing Thanksgiving Day meals for those in need. They got an early start inside of both Tom’s Diner and Folino’s Restaurant.

“I’m so happy to be able to do this,” said Cheryl Gordon, one of the volunteers.

Tom’s Diner began this tradition of giving nine years ago. They started making about 200 meals, but now they’re up to 1,200.

The food goes to the elderly and needy living on the South Side, North Side, Mount Washington, Brentwood, Carrick and downtown.

Pittsburgh police officers delivered it between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. this Thanksgiving morning.

“It’s quite a feet,” said Cmdr. Scott Schubert, of the Pittsburgh Police. “It’s an event, but it [is] well worth it to see the smiles on people’s faces.”

The officers hit the beat with the meals in tow, happy to give back to the community.

“They want to do it. They want to be a part of it,” added Cmdr. Schubert. “We’ll do anything we can to make people happy today.”

Also, the Light of Life Rescue Mission on East North Avenue in Pittsburgh served Thanksgiving Day dinners with all the fixings to those in need.

“I just think that there’s an opportunity to impact the life of another in a very, very tangible way here,” Former Steeler Tunch Ilkin said.

“And whether it’s through prayer, it’s through giving, whether it’s through volunteering, right here on North Avenue on the North Side of Pittsburgh there is a ministry that has been impacting this community and beyond for over 50 years,” he added.

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE