TROY, Texas — Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, but Sunday afternoon dozens of volunteers fired up their kitchens to serve the Troy community an early feast.
Volunteers from local churches and sports teams put together and served boxed lunches filled with turkey, dressing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and rolls to anyone who drove up to the Troy Community Center.
"We planned for 300, but we saw we were running out really quick," Gary McMurtry, a volunteer at the event said. "So we started purchasing more food and preparing it today, and I think we've served 350-375 meals today."
McMurtry said another group put together a list of local shut-ins and delivered meals to their homes.
"We tried to emphasize our shut-ins in the community as well," he said. "So we compiled a list, and I think this year, we had 55 shut-ins that we delivered meals to."
Jaydel Waldrip was on her way to the park when she saw signs for the feast in the community center parking lot. She said she just had to stop by.
"It really gives everybody a lift and makes them feel good to know there are still people out there that care about the other person," Waldrip said.
Health officials warn family gatherings this holiday season could be dangerous because of the rising number COVID-19 cases, so the volunteers said it was even more important to find ways to safely come together and serve their community.
"We have hopefully blessed other people, but we have been blessed to see how people are coming together and pulling together to help the other members of our community," McMurtry said.
While the whole town cannot gather at one long dining room table, the first taste of the holidays can still stir up a sense of family.
"I do think it's just been overwhelming and a blessing to all of us to see how we can come together as a community, which is what I think Troy is known for," McMurtry said.
They were glad to serve their community one plate at a time.