PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputies are organizing a food drive called “Operation Thankfull” to help less fortunate families at Thanksgiving.

With Thanksgiving only 41 days away, the BCSO is working to make sure no family goes hungry during the holiday season.

“I was tasked with picking 12 families to give a thanksgiving meal to at one of our schools,” said Bay County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Melton. “When I went to that school the guidance counselor, I couldn’t believe I was only asking for 12, she showed me a list of over 60 students who needed food.”

The non-profit organization started in Bay County four years ago. The first year, the BCSO fed 500 people. Since then, the sheriff’s office is feeding 5,000 people and keeps expanding.

“Operation Thankfull” provided meals to Bay District Schools students who are on a designated list that need help with food and supplies.

BSCO is asking for non-perishable foods that would most likely be on a Thanksgiving menu. Melton said they fall short on reusable bags and money for turkeys.

“I am hoping not only that I feed people who need food, I am hoping that it can also bring families together,” said Melton.

This year, BCSO is also giving food donations to the elderly from home health companies.

Even after Thanksgiving is over, BCSO will still take donations and leftover food to the local food bank.

Melton said as sheriff’s deputies, their job is not only enforcing laws, but giving 100% back and serving the community.