DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. -

The line formed early outside of Food Now in Desert Hot Springs Wednesday. The wait was well-worth it for many families who stocked up and rolled away with about 40 pounds of canned foods, whole chickens or turkeys and all the trimmings.

The Desert Hot Springs City Council and local leaders Congressman Raul Ruiz and Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit lent a hand to pass out 275 turkeys, a meal some might not have had otherwise. With the financial help of the Competitive Power Ventures Sentinel Energy Project, 600 people will take home a turkey throughout the week.

"We know Desert Hot Springs is still having some tough times. We're apart of the solution," said Food Now program director, David Johnson.

Johnson said it's the busiest time of the year for the food pantry.

"During this holiday everyone deserves to have some type of a celebration," said Johnson. "People who come here are here because they're hungry. They're looking for some assistance."

With a trunk full of goods, Roy Mercer, of Desert Hot Springs, is ready to celebrate.

"I going to be with my family. My wife is cooking," Mercer said.

Many gave thanks for the food and their loved ones.

"I have my kids, my grandsons, and everything is good," said Maria Mendoza, of Desert Hot Springs.

Food Now will also serve a hot turkey meal this Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (located at 14080 Palm Dr, Desert Hot Springs).

For more information, call 760-329-4100