(WHTM) — Friday’s hometown heroes have come a long way in their effort to provide Thanksgiving day meals.

The Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors has hosted a Thanksgiving food drive for 36 years

The group partnered with Karns Foods, to buy turkeys and gift cards in bulk. The first food drive in 1986 helped 78 families.

The collection held on Friday will help at least 1,000 families. Twenty-four agencies in Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties picked up the food boxes for distribution.