At least 250 families received a Thanksgiving meal through the Mission Crime Stoppers’ annual Thanksgiving dinner giveaway this year.

On Thursday morning, the Mission Crime Stoppers hosted their annual giveaway in partnership with the City of Mission and the city’s police department.

With COVID-19 precautions in place, the event was held through a curbside, drive-thru event at the Mission Parks and Recreation.

“We began this program simply as a way of giving back to our community. It’s been a challenging year, so we are excited to bring some joy to these families during this pandemic,” said Robert Rodriguez, Mission Crime Stoppers coordinator. “We have partnered up with the City of Mission and the Rio Grande Valley Food Bank to make this holiday an unforgettable one for families that may have gone without a Thanksgiving dinner.”

Though the curbside, drive-thru model is becoming increasingly popular for events, Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez said in the last two years, this particular event was always a drive-thru type event.

“We did the same thing this year, but obviously one of the things we made sure is there was limited contact,” Dominguez said.

Mission Police and other city workers distribute Thanksgiving meals Friday to families in the city needing assistance. (Courtesy photo)

With the meals already prepared and organized, all citizens had to do was drive up and open their vehicle’s trunk, where officers placed the food box inside for them — all through limited contact.

“One of the things that I think is important is to always give back to the community,” Dominguez said. “Today, we were able to service at least 250 families here in the Mission area.”

According to a release, the families selected to receive meals were pre-selected, based on need, by Mission CISD and the Community Development Block Grant Program. In advance, the families selected were awarded food pick-up vouchers.

“We’re very grateful to our Mission Crime Stoppers program,” Dominguez said. “They’re at the forefront of this and helping us coordinate this event every year.”

On behalf of the police department, the Mission Crime Stoppers and the city of Mission, Dominguez said he wanted to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, but also reminding them of COVID-19 concerns.

“Hopefully next year, we’ll be beyond this pandemic and we’ll be able to gather together as we usually do,” Dominguez said.