By 10 a.m., a line had already formed outside Freeport Riverplace as community members anticipated a Thanksgiving feast hosted by The Freedom House Church.
The free Super Feast is something both volunteers from the nonprofit and Brazoria County residents look forward to each year, Event Coordinator Stephanie Blackstock said. Freedom House has hosted the event for the last four years, she said.
“This is a really good way for the community to get together and celebrate the holiday,” Event Coordinator Kevin Clark said.
The feast inspires feelings of gratitude, and everyone is welcome, Blackstock said.
“We were supposed to open at 11 a.m., but we had so many people lined up, we opened the doors early,” she said. “I think last year we had about 1,200 people come through, and this year, I would say it’s surpassed that because we’re running out of food.”
More than 90 turkeys were prepared for the meal, which took about 20 hours to cook, kitchen lead William Burns said.
All the food came from Arlan’s Market in Freeport, Blackstock said.
“The guys that prepare the food put in a lot of prep,” Burns said. “It’s great to just do it and know you’re just helping the community.”
By 1 a.m. Thursday, some turkeys still were being cooked, Blackstock said.
Volunteers served the fresh turkey, potatoes, cranberries and all the traditional fixings for a Thanksgiving meal which draws the community together, Blackstock said.
“We have a lot of plant workers that are contracted to be here and may not have their families,” Blackstock said. “This is just really for everyone and anyone in the community who needs it.”
In addition to the feast, several plates were loaded up and taken throughout Brazoria County for deliveries, including Sweeny and Alvin, Blackstock said.
This time of year is for family and giving back, which is what Super Feast is about, 16-year-old volunteer Kellie Crossway said.
Crossway assisted people inside the building and explained her father was also there volunteering, making it a family event.
“I think this is important because people that don’t have food or family can join together and be a family here,” she said.
Crossway has been a volunteer for three years with the nonprofit.
As people dined at tables with colorful tablecloths and decorative centerpieces, volunteers cleaned, cooked and staffed a raffle table which supports the Freedom House’s efforts, Blackstock said.
“We raffled off a lovely custom-made barbecue pit and picnic table,” she said. “This is a fun thing for everyone and there has just been so many people — it’s just about bringing everyone together.”