AUSTIN, Texas - Tis the season of giving or, in this case, sharing.
Thousands of people attended HEB’s annual Feast of Sharing Tuesday.
"My first time ever coming out to eat here and I love it. The food is good and the music is great," said Edwilla Renee who attended for the first time.
HEB kicked off its 30th annual Feast of Sharing for the Austin area. For Renee, the event is more than just a free meal, it's a chance to be around others for the holidays.
"Last year for Thanksgiving I stayed at home no lights no nothing because I didn't have anything, this is the best Thanksgiving I’ve ever had and I’m grateful for it," said Renee.
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The annual event serves thousands of meals at no cost as HEB's part in wanting to give back to the community around the holiday season. In addition to Austin, HEB holds this event in cities across the state and Mexico.
Renee couldn't hold back her gratitude.
"To see them come out here and do the things that they are doing it touches my heart but it also shows they have feeling for everybody so I thank y’all.” Said Renee.
In order to feed thousands of hungry people, thousands of volunteers are needed.
"We need a village to pull off an event like this so we rely on volunteers across all areas of Austin to give a nice warm meal to residents in the greater Austin area," said HEB public affairs specialist Johnny Mojica.
At this year's Feast of Sharing they served on average 14,000 meals that's more than 3500 pounds of turkey. To cook all the food, HEB brought in their mobile kitchens, they typically use these vehicles to help serve food following natural disasters.
For this year's event on average along with all the turkey, 2500 pounds of cornbread dressing will be made along with 380 gallons of mashed potatoes, 140 gallons of gravy, and to finish it off, 750 pumpkin pies will also be served.
For Renee, she said she is already planning to attend next year.
"It's not just the meal it's the people your surrounding you know you feel like you're at home like you belong to something and that's what matters the most," Renee said.