CHICAGO (WLS) -- Meal giveaways like at Legends Chicken and Fish are often familiar scenes on Thanksgiving, but this holiday it has taken on extra meaning.
Millions of Americans now face food insecurity because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Laid off the job for a minute... every now and then, you know, they call me back in... it's a blessing to have a meal," said Darryl Patterson, a South Side resident.
Patterson said he was grateful to have a warm free plate of food on Thanksgiving.
Like so many Americans, this year Patterson said he has struggled to live comfortably.
"It just feels good to see people in good favor still willing to help others," said Nicholas Byrd, a South Side resident.
Byrd has also faced job challenges, and said that in the past he's volunteered at meal give away events.
But this Thanksgiving, Byrd is the one looking for help.
"Let you know that your blessings do come back around," he said.
On the North Side, Levy and the Salvation Army have teamed up to feed hundreds more, including the homeless.
The group My Block My Hood My City was behind a big effort to pass out 2,000 meals on this Thanksgiving.
It was all hands on deck near 83rd and Wabash late Thursday morning.
"A lot of senior homes, they're going without right now. Without hand sanitizer, PPE, disinfectant spray and you know we take care of our seniors," said Jahmal Cole.
"In spite of what we've been going through in 2020 the pandemic, We still have a lot to be thankful for," said 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer.
My Block My Hood My City teamed up with Oooh Wee Sweet Tea Restaurant in Chatham to feed 2,000 people Thanksgiving dinner.
The impact reached even further.
The brand-new restaurant has not even opened yet, and while there are plenty of volunteers, the even has helped the restaurant owners provide a paycheck for their staff this holiday weekend.
"We're really excited about the opportunity to be able to employ people, especially during this pandemic. so many restaurants that are closing down, because of the pandemic and so we are fortunate," said restaurant owner Mark Walker.
La Rabida Children's Hospital and ABC 7 also teamed up to help feed families, with volunteers handing out some two-hundred to-go meals Thursday.
On Chicago's North Side, cooks from the Salvation Army dished up 2,000 meals to families in need.
The Levy Hospitality Group picked up the tab.