H-E-B has begun preparations for its 8th Annual Feast of Sharing at the Abilene Civic Center on Tuesday night. Approximately 8,000 people are expected to come out to enjoy a meal of glazed ham, mashed potatoes and apple pie.
"It makes me proud to work for a company that takes the time and the money and the resource to supply this for the community," Volunteer Raymond Ortega said.
Ortega has been a volunteer for the past eight years. He said he looks forward to "the feeling of helping out every year" and "preparing this big feast that we do for the community."
H-E-B started the dinners in communities across Texas and Mexico in 1989 as part of its Food Bank Assistance Program.
For Tuesday night's meal, Ortega estimated he and other volunteers sliced up 200 cases of ham.
But there is much more on the menu.
"For this dinner, it'll be 3,000 pounds of ham, about 2500 pounds of mashed potatoes, 2,500 pounds of vegetables, 120 gallons of gravy, 940 apple pies and then all the rolls and everything," Mobile Kitchen Crew Chief Bill Mosely said.
Mosely said he has spent the last several weeks providing Feast of Sharing meals to various communities.
"It's kind of tough being away from home during November and December but it's well worth it," Mosely said. "It's a great feeling when people come up and thank you for the meal. And a lot of times, a lot of people may not have been able to have a hot meal and it's a pleasure to do it."
The Feast of Sharing will also feature entertainment and activities for kids and adults. The meal is open to the community and will be served from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Abilene Civic Center.