An assembly line of volunteers separate the white meat from the dark meat on large prep tables. Photo by Scott Ball.
An assembly line of volunteers separate the white meat from the dark meat on large prep tables at a Thanksgiving charity dinner. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

As the holidays approach and families come together to celebrate what they are thankful for, they also remember those who are less fortunate. In the spirit of generosity and giving, here are five ways that San Antonians can contribute to their communities and put food on the table for those who may not be able to.

Grillsgiving

The third annual Grillsgiving, a barbecue competition that raises money for CPS Energy’s Residential Energy Assistance Partnership (REAP) fund, will take place at Mission County Park on Saturday, Nov. 19. The REAP fund assists qualifying applicants in paying their utility bills. Last year the event raised around $40,000 for the cause.

Program Manager Stephanie Ockenfels told the Rivard Report that the event convenes CPS employees and the community.

“We’ll have anywhere between 25-30 barbecue teams consisting of our employees, contractors, suppliers, and the community,” she said. “We’re hopeful that we’ll raise more (money) this year. We’re very proud of our volunteer service. It takes a lot of hands to put on a public event of this scale.”

To learn more about Grillsgiving, click here.

Thanksgiving 365

A group of community leaders has committed to fasting until they each raise $1,000 to benefit Inner City Development‘s Emergency Food Pantry for a full year. Volunteers include community leaders like Morgan’s Wonderland‘s Gordon Hartman, SAISD Board President Patti Radle, and Rivard Report Managing Editor Iris Dimmick. You can read about her commitment to the cause here.

Inner City development is projected to serve 60,000 meals this year to families in need. To meet future demand, the organization has set a fundraising target of $40,000 to be raised by noon on Nov. 21.

To donate to those still fasting, click here.

The Great Turkey Challenge

Help the San Antonio Food Bank meet its one million pound donation goal for its November Food4SA campaign by signing up to run the Great Turkey Challenge 5k on Thursday, Nov. 24. Participants can walk or run in one of the only running events that goes through the King William area and the River Walk.

Registration is $35 until Nov. 22 and $40 on the morning of the event. To learn more and register, click here.

37th Annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner

Be a part of the 4,000-person volunteer staff that makes one of the largest Thanksgiving benefits in the country possible or donate to support their mission to feed more than 25,000 people who won’t be able to prepare their own Thanksgiving dinner this year. Held at the Henry B. González Convention Center on Nov. 24, the dinner unites the San Antonio community to strengthen its ties and serve those who have less.

To donate, sign up to volunteer, or learn more, click here.

Maker’s Market at Frank

San Antonians can support homegrown businesses on Saturday, Nov. 26 by checking out a variety of small business purveyors at Frank. From 1-8 p.m., the Maker’s Market will provide ample opportunity for holiday shoppers to go local, support Southtown small businesses, enjoy music by Southtown Vinyl, and food and cocktail specials by Frank.

James McCandless

Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.