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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56/WKYT) – An annual Thanksgiving event is back in action at God’s Pantry Food Bank.

The organization’s Sharing Thanksgiving Basket Brigade took place Saturday. More than 100 volunteers and staff members built and packed thousands of boxes of food.

They worked in an assembly line that’s helping Kentuckians in need get through the holidays.

“At this time of year, it’s being able to gather around the table, celebrate one’s blessings, and look forward to the opportunities for the future,” CEO Michael Halligan said.

Halligan said the holiday can come with a full plate of stress for those experiencing hunger.

Shifts of 30 volunteers built baskets full of goods fit for Thanksgiving dinner.

“The food and the nutrition is so, so important,” Halligan said.

The dry goods were packed up Saturday. Items like milk and butter will be added to the boxes on distribution day, a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

“Overall, we plan to distribute about 6,450 Thanksgiving meals to households across Central and Eastern Kentucky,” Halligan said.

Thousands of baskets are going to six counties in the state: Fayette, Laurel, Rowan, Floyd, Jackson, and Clay counties are included.

“16.5 percent of residents are at risk of experiencing hunger at some point during the course of the year,” Halligan said. “That’s a quarter of a million people.”

With that many Kentuckians in need, Halligan encourages everyone to step up to do their part.

“We’re going to do 11 percent more than what we did a year ago,” he said.

Halligan said he encourages anyone needing food assistance during any time of the year to use the ‘find help’ button on God’s Pantry Food Bank website.