PHOENIX (AP) — Volunteers gave out hundreds of free Thanksgiving turkeys Monday as the holidays approach and charities work to help people get what they need to celebrate.

The event at the American Legion’s Post No. 65 in south Phoenix helped out about 1,000 families. The 18th Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway was organized by the Sons of the American Legion and the nonprofit HeroZona Foundation.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Ducey stopped by to help and said in a statement that he was grateful to the volunteers and community groups that came together to help needy families.

"It took teamwork to persevere through all the challenges of COVID-19, and events like the Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway show us all that Arizona will have that same sense of camaraderie for decades to come," Ducey said.

The governor’s office said about 50 volunteers joined AP Powell, HeroZona’s founding chairman, to hand out the free food.

Powell said the group wanted to ensure that “underserved families in South Phoenix have the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving with their loved ones — no matter their circumstances.”

Charities and nonprofit groups routinely ramp up their efforts around the holidays to provide food and holiday gifts to low-income Arizonans.