DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Mission provided hot Thanksgiving meals to those in need on Wednesday.
Volunteers were hard at work starting early in the morning, and they began serving meals around 11 a.m.
The Los Angeles Mission opened up 80 years ago, and it has been serving Thanksgiving meals ever since.
This year, volunteers will be serving approximately 3,500 meals comprised of 3,000 pounds of turkey, 800 gallons of gravy, 800 gallons of mashed potatoes and 500 pounds of other vegetables.
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Mission officials say this is an opportunity to remind Southern Californians to help the less fortunate year round.
"I see people as really wanting to be part of the community, wanting to share and this just expresses the best side of everybody. They're coming to help someone that has a little bit less than they do and they want to give back, and that's really what makes our community thrive," said Herb Smith with L.A. Mission.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday's event goes beyond just one meal.
"This is an opportunity for us to touch people's hearts and to get them on the pathway back to healing. It's not just about a meal today. It's about starting to take a shower and engage with a counselor and learn about housing and get the mental health or physical health they need," Garcetti said.
The meals were expected to be served until around 3 p.m.
To learn more about the Los Angeles Mission and how you can help, visit https://losangelesmission.org.
LA Mission serves 3,500 hot Thanksgiving meals to those in need