LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Handing out meals to the public has been a tradition at Cristo Rey Community Center for almost 20 years.

Organizers said that each year, they try to provide more meals than ever before.

“We delivered 121 meals out to homebound individuals today and we will likely serve 175 meals here,” said Joe Garcia, the CEO of the Cristo Rey Community Center.

Garcia said the giveaway is about more than food, it’s about coming together to enjoy each other’s company.

“Meals and camaraderie, I mean it’s good for the soul,” said Garcia. “There are many people in the community that don’t have extended family. This is an opportunity for them to come out, enjoy the meal, and be a part of our family.”

Local Willie James said he hasn’t had a Thanksgiving meal in years because he has no family left.

“So it’s a blessing to be able to get a dinner and to be able to have fellowship with other people, and meeting other people,” said James. “It was very nice. I enjoyed it.”

James said anyone can end up needing help, and he is grateful to have programs like Cristo Rey’s.

“Thanksgiving is a day that we should all be thankful and grateful for, that we have a god that is as good as he is,” said James. “That we can have food to eat. Even those who are not fortunate enough to have a meal. So we have a lot to be thankful for. Friends, family, and loved ones.”