MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Twin Cities families have food on the table Thursday thanks to Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels.

The organization cooks, packs and delivers food to those less fortunate for the holiday.

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Back in 1970, Founders Bill Foussard and Barb Aslesen wanted to help families and children. As a result, they created Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels.

The organization has grown from preparing 24 meals for three families on Thanksgiving Day to preparing 20,000 meals delivered to over 4,000 families last year.

This year, more than 3,000 volunteers used the kitchen and cafeteria at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul.

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They set up Wednesday afternoon and returned around 2:30 a.m. Then at 8 a.m., drivers pulled out to deliver the meals.

“I remember going to a door and there were five little kids that came to the door,” Volunteer Brenda Kavanagh said. “They were running to the door to get their meals and I was hooked after that.”

Aslesen secures the names of families in need. She works closely with Twin Cities’ social service agencies and churches including South Side Services, Ramsey County Public Health Services, Union Gospel Mission, St. Olaf Church and Trinity Mission.

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Each family is contacted by volunteers from the organization to determine the need for dinners and to verify delivery information.