ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR)– We are just days away from the Drumstick DASH in downtown Roanoke, which takes place Thanksgiving morning.

Team members at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke are making their final sprint to ensure all details are just right for both the race and the mission’s annual community Thanksgiving dinner.

“We are doing the turkey, stuffing, they will have rolls, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, macaroni and cheese, and cranberry relish,” said Sara Blankenship, food services manager for the Rescue Mission.

By day, everyone is at the DASH, but by night, many will flock to the Rescue Mission to get a Thanksgiving meal.

(Photo: Kelsey Jean-Baptiste/WFXR News)

“There is just such a sense of joy and gratitude, and excitement to be able to come together to really see that we are all the same,” said CEO of the Rescue Mission, Lee Clark.

Clark says the DASH helps benefit the Mission and provides funds to serve more than 200,000 meals a year.

According to Blankenship, she is seeing a rise in people needing food every day.

“I would say an average of 100 for breakfast, 100 for lunch, and 150 to 200 for dinner,” said Blankenship.

In Roanoke itself, Clark adds that food insecurity is increasing, making it more important than ever to give back.

“The number of people who [has] been coming to the man of food box distribution on Saturday has risen from 200 to 250 a Saturday, to now close to 400 a Saturday. So it has nearly doubled from what it was a year to two years ago,” said Clark.

(Photo: Kelsey Jean-Baptiste/WFXR News)

With demand rising at the Rescue Mission, Clark says they are always increasing the number of partners to help supply food. That way, many in the community can rely on the Rescue Mission.

“Other things might have a shutdown or slow down. If anything, our team was around the clock just like they always are making sure they have a safe place to go, making sure they have food to eat, medical cards, and treatment for addiction,” said Clark.

If you would like to volunteer for the Drumstick DASH, visit the Rescue Mission website to sign up.

If you would like to walk or run in the DASH, registration is still open for the in-person DASH on Thursday, Nov. 25, as well as the virtual DASH, which takes place through Tuesday, Nov. 30.

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