The Missoula Fairgrounds buzzed with activity Monday as hundreds of people got their Thanksgiving meal.
Over 300 families appeared within the first hour of the event. Volunteers ran out of parking spaces. Long lines stretched through a fairgrounds building near the main gate. A truck full of turkeys sat right outside; the last stop for families before heading home.
The food bank needs the extra space the fairgrounds provide to meet the demand this time of year.
In 2012, over 1,700 families received a meal from this event. According to Missoula Food Bank Community Relations Director Jessica Allred, that translates to about 5,000 people.
Allred also notes that during the last two years turkey supplies ran low due to unexpected need.
Turkeys are still being accepted at the food bank's facility at 219 South 3rd Street West in Missoula. Food bank volunteers are back at the fairgrounds on Tuesday to finish distributing meals.