Families in Richmond County have a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving a week before the holiday.
The Councils of PTAs for Richmond and Burke counties are holding a free community dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Oak Pointe Apartments on East Boundary.
A second feast will be held at the Lake Olmstead Community Center during the same time, event organizer Monique Braswell said.
The event Feast Before the Feast is designed to bring communities and families together while also helping feed the hungry. This year organizers are expecting almost 4,000 people to be fed at the two sites.
Braswell said she plans the dinners before Thanksgiving so more people from school organizations can participate.
“Everybody feeds during the week of Thanksgiving, but you know, there’s people that’s hungry the week before Thanksgiving, too,” she said. “We are guaranteed to have the support and the help from the kids and the help from parents during school time as well.”
The free program is run through food and monetary donations from the public and the help of almost 300 volunteers.
In their home kitchens, volunteers are preparing 60 turkeys, 85 hams, 150 bushels of collard greens, 200 pounds of cabbage and 320 pounds of yams for the dinners. Cooks will also barbecue and fry 600 pounds of chicken on site.
This is the first time the event will include two dinners, as the Lake Olmstead site was the only feeding location for three years.
About 1,500 people were fed at the single site last year, and Braswell expects more than double to be fed this year with the second location.
“We won’t have leftovers,” Braswell said. “If there’s anything left, we’ll stay until it’s gone and everyone is fed.”