AUSTIN, Texas - After a two-year hiatus, thousands of Austin residents shared a Thanksgiving meal together during the 33rd Annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing.
The last time H-E-B hosted the event was in 2019. So may were excited to be back together in person, with a sense of community, and eating a meal at the same table.
The event featured music, turkey hats made by the kids, flu shots, and lots of food.
"We love the environment, it's so fun. The food is good," Austin resident Angelina Gutierrez said.
H-E-B prepared more than 12,000 meals.
"Every year we look for ways to celebrate with our community and our customers," H-E-B Public Affairs Manager Tamra Jones said.
"I think it just shows the heart for service that our community has and people have for one another," Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said.
This year, instead of a traditional Thanksgiving meal, H-E-B served a traditional Texas meal.
"A lot of times it’s families that maybe they want to take a night off from cooking and want to come out here and be part of our celebration. We have a lot of folks that are experiencing homelessness that come out here and have a free meal that might not have another opportunity to have a traditional holiday meal," Jones said.
In the past three decades, H-E-B has served more than 4 million meals, and they work year-round with the Central Texas Food Bank to fight hunger.
"As where they had small amounts going to the mobile distribution, it's like they've almost tripled the size of folks coming out. The need is great," Jones said.
"Everything is so expensive, it's such a blessing," Austin resident Stephanie Foster said.
The leftovers will not go to waste. They will go to the Central Texas Food Bank to continue serving more people.