HOUSTON — An emergency turkey drive and a good Samaritan helped save the annual SUPER FEAST in downtown Houston guaranteeing a hot Thanksgiving meal for tens of thousands of people.
The City Wide Club and volunteers worked overtime to prepare for the 44th annual Thanksgiving Day event. They dealt with a nationwide turkey shortage, soaring food prices and supply chain issues.
"With inflation prices going up in the last year, two years almost, there is a greater need this year. We’re expecting to feed more than 20,000 families," said Alejandro Sandoval with City Wide Club.
Food was served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
After all was said and done, City Wide Club said it served up more than 15,300 turkeys and between 18,000 to 20,000 hot meals and food baskets.
Organizers held an emergency turkey drive Monday with an assist from the Houston Texans.
“It’s all about giving, you know. Helping others, that’s the main goal, helping others and making sure they have a wonderful day like everyone else," Texans rookie Kenyon Green said.
The Texans Cheerleaders and mascot, Toro, were also there to help load up the turkeys, canned goods and other donations dropped off at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Things were looking up until Tuesday morning when they got a "terrifying call."
"There was a difficulty with an enormous delivery of turkeys in transit. Coming from Detroit, the delivery truck broke down on the highway making the turkeys undeliverable," Citywide Club said.
The determined good Samaritan who provided those turkeys found more in the Dallas area, and they arrived in Houston on Tuesday.
The Super Feast Thursday at the GRB was open to anyone and they offer "Sit 'n Sup" meals or a "Grab 'n Go" drive-thru.
Organizers said about 6,000 volunteers helped distribute about 35,000 pounds of food.
Christina Figueroa, a mother of five, was one of those who waited in line.
"It means a lot because I was worried, as a single mother of five, it's very hard especially when family is not around. That’s why it means a lot," Figueroa said.
Others told KHOU 11 News they were looking for a little company and a hot meal.
"I'm homeless right now -- trying to get back on my feet,” Michael Hurley said.
The event, in its 44th year, served more than 25,000 families, seniors and veterans.
"I'm actually thankful for my children were all together despite everything that we have gone through, Figueroa said.