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Buckeye football players, Columbus police support those in need this Thanksgiving

From turkey giveaways to free hot meals, community members are making sure everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving this year.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With just days away from Thanksgiving and food prices through the roof, community members throughout the city are showing up for those in need.

The Columbus Division of Police has partnered with Byers Auto Group, Giant Eagle, Columbus Police Foundation, Yenkin-Majestic Paint Corporation and Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse for this year's turkey giveaway.

This year, they distributed 700 free turkeys to those in need compared to last year which was only 150.

“We know that people are still looking for jobs, this is a way for them to have a huge turkey, it's pretty heavy, and just a way for us to show that we care and compassion,” says LaShanna Potts, First Assistant Chief of Columbus Division of Police.

Residents say they are thankful for the opportunity to get some help to put food on the table.

"Everything is crazy in the grocery stores, I mean everything we normally get in the grocery stores is sky high,” Rogina King said.

Potts says Columbus police loves supporting the community and connecting in a way beyond enforcement.

Credit: WBNS-10TV

“A lot of times when we see people in the community it's usually when something traumatic has happened, so this is a happy time, it's the holiday season, and so we just want to connect with the community and strengthen that bond,” Potts said.

Down High Street in the Short North, TownHall hosted their second annual “Fee the Need TownHall,” with Ohio State football players helping to serve those in need.

Owner Bobbie George says the goal is to clothe and feed 10,000-20,000 people this year.

"It's a blessing man, I thank God every day I have the opportunity to give back,” says Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. "It feels good to be able to put a smile on someone's face and it makes you feel good about yourself, but I'm really just here to help and make sure they know, they have a friend in me."

If you’re looking for a free Thanksgiving meal, you can check out The Franking County Office on Aging. On Wednesday, Stoew Mission will be giving out meals at 11 a.m. and Thursday morning, St. Aloysius Parish will also be giving out free meals.

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