SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utahns put the “give” in Thanksgiving. 

Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and their families helped serve hot meals for the homeless population at the Rescue Mission Salt Lake on Wednesday, Nov. 23. 

“We have the best people in the world right here,” Cox said. “We have a sense of community. People are willing to give back, willing to sacrifice for others.”

Many Utahns take time out of their busy schedules for community outreach. This is especially true when it comes to serving the homeless. 

“Hope starts with a meal,” said Chris Croswhite, executive director of the Rescue Mission Salt Lake. “We are anticipating serving [between] 1200 [to] 1500 meals.”

Now a 16-year-old tradition, those without a home came together today in Salt Lake City for a warm Thanksgiving plate, some music and a place to eat. The organization also provided clothes, sanitary products, showers, haircuts and vaccines, for anyone in need. 

As the community continues to help people in need during the holidays, organizations suggested ways to do so effectively. 

“The rescue mission is in need of coats and winter socks [to help] our homeless friends stay safe this winter,” Croswhite said. 

Supplies like toothbrushes and underwear are also welcomed donations, and Croswhite said to always donate through an organization. 

Having government leaders volunteer to help makes a big difference. 

“The governor and the lieutenant governor are seeing the needs of the homeless face to face. They’re looking at our homeless friends directly in the eye, and they’re seeing them as a human being,” Croswhite said. 

When it comes to improving the lives of our homeless population, Cox said it starts with affordable housing. 

“The best way to prevent homelessness is to have more homes available and have them more affordable, and that’s gonna be a major focus for me and a major focus for the legislature,” Cox said.