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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) Giving thanks and giving back – the Food Bank of South Jersey is making sure that every family who needs a meal for Thanksgiving gets one.

Giving back. That’s how some in the South Jersey community spent their Saturday.

“People are out there less fortunate than me and they need a meal,” said Jamel Staley of Willingboro, “and we’re out here to make that happen.”

Yes I am blessed! I woke up this morning,” said Barbara Walley of Pennsauken.

All day, the Food Bank of South Jersey collected turkeys and canned goods to distribute to those who need a little extra help putting a Thanksgiving meal on the table.

“The need is that prominent. We work with 250 food pantries throughout the area,” said Tom Sims, Chief Development Officer. “They’re run by churches, civic groups and they’re also soup kitchens as well.”

Organizers say because of natural disasters like Hurricane Maria, local donations have declined. They could use your help in collecting food for about 200,000 people across South Jersey.

Tasha Haslon of Flock Food Pantry says she showed up because it’s a highly personal cause.

“You never forget where you come from,” Haslon said. “As a child I grew up needing food, so when you see those needs, you connect with it instantly.”

She and her husband, John, of Power of Life International, will be distributing items through their food pantry.

“We’re always looking for some meat – folks need some meat,” John said. “We also need some canned items, vegetables are always good.”

They hope by giving a meal, they can also give hope.

“Beyond a decent meal, I’m hoping for a better life for them and their children,” Walley said. “That’s important.”

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