H-E-B Public Affairs Specialists Lacey Kotzur and Danny Flores deliver a meal to a senior in her home on Wednesday as part of the Feast of Sharing tradition. Courtesy photo
H-E-B Public Affairs Specialists Lacey Kotzur and Danny Flores deliver a meal to a senior in her home on Wednesday as part of the Feast of Sharing tradition. Courtesy photo

H-E-B kicked off its 22nd Annual Feast of Sharing event on Wednesday by delivering holiday meals to almost 4,000 homebound seniors throughout San Antonio and Texas.

Each year, the grocery chain partners with Meals on Wheels’ Christian Senior Services, along with volunteers, to prepare meals on-site and then deliver turkey with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, savory green beans, applesauce, dinner rolls, and milk to families around San Antonio.

Wednesday’s holiday deliveries were a fun way to announce this year’s celebratory Feast of Sharing, a tradition that began as a hunger prevention initiative and that has grown to become a huge community celebration held each year at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

A bounty of meals awaits delivery to San Antonio homebound seniors. Courtesy photo.
A bounty of meals awaits delivery to San Antonio homebound seniors. Photo courtesy of Christian Senior Services.

This year, H-E-B plans to serve more than 15,000 San Antonio residents in five hours during the free community dinner from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20.

“The Feast of Sharing is our way and H-E-B’s way of saying thank you for supporting us all these years,” said Lacey Kotzur, a public affairs specialist at H-E-B.

Held the Saturday before Christmas, the dinner is one of 31 held across Texas and in Mexico that begin in November and last through Christmas Eve. H-E-B serves about 250,000 people in that time, Kotzur said.

“For the San Antonio dinner, we’re very fortunate to have our community partners and volunteers – we start planning this event a few months out and tying everything up as we get closer,” she said. “We’re busy right now setting up the decorations, tables, and chairs, and getting all the supplies for the volunteers.”

She said about 2,500 people will volunteer at Saturday’s dinner.

Guests to the Feast of Sharing should bring their family, neighbors and friends. When they enter, they will be greeted by volunteers who will seat them and bring them their meal.

Vincent Rehkopf, a volunteer with Christian Senior Services, helps gather supplies for H-E-B's Feast of Sharing this Saturday. Courtesy photo
Vincent Rehkopf, a volunteer with Christian Senior Services, helps gather supplies for H-E-B’s Feast of Sharing this Saturday. Photo courtesy of Christian Senior Services.

There will be live musical entertainment and dancing after the meal, free health screenings, free flu shots while supplies last, free eye screenings will also be available from Lions Mobile Eye Unit, and information on services provided by dozens of community nonprofit organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, Haven for Hope, the Metropolitan Health District, and the San Antonio Food Bank.

Saturday’s Feast will feature an interactive Children’s Fun Zone provided by the San Antonio Children’s Museum and live musical entertainment by Mariachi Azteca de America, the San Antonio Fire Department Band: Backdraft and the Luis Portillo Orchestra.

Santa will make a last-chance appearance before Christmas. Kids will make crafts, write letters to Santa, and have their faces painted, too.

While the Feast of Sharing is an opportunity for San Antonio seniors to dress up and join friends for a good meal and fun dance, it actually attracts people from all areas and backgrounds of the community, she said.

Free transportation is available through VIA and VIATrans from any bus stop in the city to the feast.

The H-E-B Feast of Sharing dinners were founded in 1989 and are a facet of H-E-B’s Food Bank Assistance Program. The program works year-round to prevent hunger in Texas and Mexico.

*Top/featured image: H-E-B Public Affairs Specialists Lacey Kotzur and Danny Flores deliver a meal to a woman Wednesday as part of the Feast of Sharing tradition. Photo courtesy of Christian Senior Services.

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Katherine Nickas

Katherine Nickas was born in San Antonio near Fort Sam Houston but grew up in southern Indiana. In 2007, she began working for Indiana AgriNews where she covered topics ranging from corn and soybean production...