More than 4,000 households receive turkey dinners from Sacred Heart in San Jose

The line at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose stretched around the corner Monday and more kept coming.

People came to get holiday turkeys and food boxes, so they and their families can have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

"It's the difference between having Thanksgiving and not having Thanksgiving," said Francisco Franco, who was in line with his wife and two small children.

The Francos are among 4,200 households receiving donated food from Sacred Heart this week.

The father says he is disabled and can't work. And their $2,600 a month rent takes most of their income.

But they say the Thanksgiving food gives them something to look forward to.

"Means the world to me. I'll be able to prepare food for them. I'll be able to wake up early in the morning and bake pies. I'll be able to make the turkey and be able to see their faces when they eat it and be happy," said mother Felicia Franco.

Sacred Heart has about 1,000 volunteers who will be working over the course of the three-day giveaway.

Sacred Heart says they are about a thousand turkeys short of their goal, but are still collecting donations.

They say the need is as strong as ever.

"There is definitely a sense of displacement. From the flood earlier this year to changes in immigration. And the rising cost of rent. It's really pushing families out," said Sacred Heart spokeswoman Jill Mitsch. 

One mother of three came with her 11-year-old son. She says her husband is injured and can't work. It's hard making ends meet. But she says she wanted her son to learn from this experience of needing help.

"He needs to also accept it's not all the time at the top. He has to learn how to go down and not say, 'Mom I want this, I want that' and everything. He has to grow up,"said Catherine Manalo.

But whether it is high rent, hard times or both, people getting help at Sacred Heart say at least they"ll have a chance to put their struggles on the back burner for a day and enjoy Thanksgiving.