RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — Ahead of Thanksgiving, groups across the Bay Area are seeing overwhelming need due to the pandemic, including two groups in the East Bay.

A thousand Thanksgiving meals were being given away by the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond on Tuesday. The mission, which has been helping families with food for more than 40 years, said they can barely keep up with demand.

During all that time, they’ve never seen so many people needing food.

“People are shut in, people can’t go to various different places. They can’t be with their families, right?” said Mike Lubcyik, Chairman of the Bay Area Rescue Mission. “Families can’t get together and help and so there’re congregating here to get the meals.”

People in line waiting for food provided by the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond on November 24, 2020. (CBS)

People in line waiting for food provided by the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond on November 24, 2020. (CBS)

Families of all sizes and all races, all patiently waiting in line for the same thing, food.

Despite the tough times, some are staying positive.

Marshelle Wilburn, the mission’s food coordinator said, “The people who are coming today are so grateful for the fact that they know that they’ll be able to go home and prepare a Thanksgiving meal.”

The Rev. Armando Martinez preached to the folks in line. “In the midst of Pandemic, in the midst of what we are going through in society, I want to let you know that if you are on the side of Jesus Christ, you are on the winning side.”

Lamar Harrison was in line Tuesday on an especially tragic day for his family. “We’re doing alright but, we just took a death today,” Harrison said, explaining that his godmother passed away from a seizure.

Sermon, turkey and hope, the Rescue Mission said they will be here for another 40 years as long as there are people needing help.

Several miles away in El Sobrante, the Boys And Girls Club was also giving 100 turkeys to needy folks, who drove up to receive a Thanksgiving meal. Their food supply was quickly exhausted as well.