Dozens of volunteers assembled boxes with canned vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce along with mashed potatoes, stuffing and turkeys.By Lindsay Ward

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It started in 2012 with just 76 boxes and eight years later it’s grown to over 1,800 boxes. For the Light of Life, a program to feed families a Thanksgiving meal delivered right to their door has become an essential need in the city of Pittsburgh.

Inside the donation center for the Light of Life Monday morning, hundreds of boxes were being filled with food for Thanksgiving meals. They will be delivered to families throughout the day.

It takes months to plan and prepare, but every year the goal is the same: feed those who may not be able to share a meal.

“There is definitely more of a need, but Pittsburgh is such an awesome city,” said Light of Life Volunteer Manager Jenny Deatrich.

Thousands of cans of vegetables, gravy and cranberry sauce along with boxes of mashed potatoes, stuffing and, of course, turkeys were being assembled by dozens of volunteers.

“Lots of different organizations will collect things for us, which is really nice and then we have individuals who donate as well,” said Deatrich.

Light of Life partners with 42 organizations to make this “Thanksgiving Box Outreach” happen.

“They are the boots on the ground and really know the families and know exactly what they need and then they come and pick up these items from us and then take them to these families,” said Deatrich.

They’re delivering an additional 300 boxes this year compared to 2019, and they’re making sure everyone is safe while doing it.

“We’re considered an essential service. So we are still open, we’ve been open the entire time. We have taken a tons of precautions with COVID,” said Deatrich.

Most of the meals will be delivered to families Monday evening.