Thanksgiving isn't the same without a turkey. But for many, buying a bird can be too expensive.
On Tuesday, Assemblyman Jim Cooper helped lessen the burden for some Sacramento families by having a free turkey giveaway.
Hundreds of people lined up at Luther Burbank High School Tuesday morning.
While many braved crowds in supermarkets, some people braved the cold with jackets and blankets for a free turkey.
For some, it was easier to wait in line than come up with the money it takes to serve a Thanksgiving meal.
Gabriel Gutierrez is a clear example.
"Me and my mother, we're disabled, and we are on social security, so this is a real good benefit," he said.
It pains him to say it, but his need is great.
"Oh, you look in your pockets, how we gonna buy a turkey? It costs about 20 bucks," he said.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper hosted the giveaway. He is all too familiar with the financial need in this community.
"The economy is still in the tanks. A lot of people don't realize that a lot of people are struggling to put food on the table, and a lot of people don't have a job," Cooper said.
In fact, the cost of turkey is up.
"For $21,000 we got about 1,500 turkeys, and in years past, we could have gotten double that amount," Cooper said.
For people like Gabriel Gutierrez, it's more than he can express. But he, like many others, are clearly grateful.
"I came for the blessing ... When prayers go up, blessings come down," Gutierrez said.
Those in line also got free health screenings and dental kits -- something else that's lacking in the community.