The annual Feast of Sharing, sponsored by Central Market, now in its sixth year in Dallas, comes to Fort Worth in 2012 as well. Election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, marks the inaugural “Cowtown” edition of the dinner, and anyone who wants to eat is invited. No strings attached, no qualifying, no standing in a serving line, no filling up a tray.
It’s designed to be a feast, and a friendly one, at that. There will be live music and entertainment for the kids; free phone calls and photos with Santa Claus. Friendly folks to share the good time, and to talk to. Dinners are served by an army of volunteers and brought to the table; seconds, and even thirds, are encouraged. Free transportation is offered to anyone who needs it.
The Dallas event follows on Thursday, Nov. 8 at Fair Park, also from 2 to 7 p.m.
Free, continuous transportation is offered between 1;30 and 6 p.m. from the following locations: The Bridge, The Salvation Army Center in Dallas, the Dallas Life Foundation, the Anita Martinez Recreation Center, and Lakewest YMCA.
Organized similarly, the older Dallas event will rely on approximately 600 volunteers for assistance. The first year in Dallas, about 3,500 dinners were served. In 2009, food ran short, but not until well past the advertised serving hour. And last year, organizers reported more than 12,500 dinners served.
In Dallas, several activities are planned for children, including bounce houses and face painting. Live music will be provided by a number of groups, and Sprint will offer free phone calls to those wishing to call relatives.
For more information, visit the site.
Volunteers help set up, clean up, play with the kids, direct traffic, paint faces and take pictures, assist with phone calls, and talk to the diners. It is one big celebration. Many company employees, active and retired, volunteer their own time to be a part of the dinner; school and community groups, churches and individuals volunteer. And the volunteers come back year after year.
To volunteer in Fort Worth, click here; or for Dallas, visit here.
And the food? Well, the food, literally tons of it, is prepared with minimal fuss and maximum expertise in a mobile kitchen.
It’s the ultimate food truck. And it just might be the cause of big-time “food truck envy.”
Because no matter how good the food, nor how innovative, this 45-foot specially outfitted red and white trailer designed for and operated by Central Market/H-E-B would win the top awards and turn the most heads. And for a model of efficiency and function, it surely would make any chef drool.
Staffed by a crew of seven, and with two 53-foot backup trailers filled with food and supplies, this “food truck par excellence” can turn out more than 2,500 full turkey dinners with all the trimmings each hour.
And that’s exactly the task it performs – this year in 30 communities across Texas and Mexico – to serve free holiday dinners to more than 275,000 people over the course of the next two months.
Begun in Laredo and Corpus Christi in 1989, the free community dinners are the highlight of Central Market/H-E-B’s year-long efforts to combat hunger, and they enjoy support from a number of charitable organizations and civic groups in each municipality where dinners are served.
This year in Fort Worth, those groups includeTexas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Tarrant Area Food Bank, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the Fort Worth Police and Fire Departments, and the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition.
Additional support comes from the Day Resource Center, the Women’s Center, Cuisine for Healing, First Street Methodist Mission and Legal Aid of North West Texas. In addition, free transportation is provided by the T! A downloadable “ticket” presented to any T Bus operator will give a person a complimentary round trip ride to the Feast of Sharing.
Organizers, including Austin Jourde, general manager of Central Market’s Fort Worth store and event chairman, say that they hope to serve upwards of 5,000 dinners on Tuesday. Live music will be offered by Western Hills High School, the Fort Worth Independent School District Honor Choir and the Texas Girls’ Choir, among others.