More than 10,000 meals were served at HEB's 25th annual Feast of Sharing Monday at the American Bank Center.
To serve that many meals, some 1,400 people of all ages and backgrounds volunteered for the event, helping to serve others on Christmas Eve.
It was joyful event, with children dancing and plenty of happy individuals waving to our 3News cameras. The food was a hit as well, of course -- tamales, ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables and apple pie.
HEB presented a $450,000 check to the Food Bank of Corpus Christi representing the donations of HEB customers raised in just six weeks during the Share Your Christmas campaign. Bea Hanson, the director of the Food Bank, called it an unprecedented gift.
"No other area has ever raised this much money, and with only 20 HEB's in our area. So it just represents the generosity of the people in Corpus Christi and South Texas. The 11 counties that the Food Bank represents," Hanson said. "What it's going to allow us to do is to help our agencies so that they can distribute more food, and reach out to even more people in need."
The nearly half a million dollar check is way more than the $300,000 raised last year. The money was raised through donations of $1, $3 or $5 through HEB's tear sheets at the register. Hanson said never underestimate the power of a $1 donation.
The annual Feast of Sharing dinner would not be possible without the Eddie Garcia Mobile Kitchen, a state-of-the-art kitchen that helps serve meals to many people.
On Monday, 3News got a look inside the mobile kitchen, which travels the state of Texas with a crew in November and December. The crew prepares meals for some 32 dinners, some which serve 5,000 meals, and others that serve 14,000 meals.
The kitchen is named after the man who started the Feast of Sharing dinner some 25 years ago -- Eddie Garcia.
"You know the magic about this one is that the city has embraced it," Garcia said. "And you know, Kiii, you guys work along with us. We work with you for the fundraiser for the Food Bank. It's all about food."
Garcia said the mobile kitchen has the capacity to put out about 2,500 meals an hour.