Attending the fourth annual Fall Feast at the Aransas Pass Civic Center meant more to resident Lucy Mendez than it did in previous years.
“We lost our house and have to rebuild, so we’re staying at my mother-in-law’s house,” Mendez said of life since Hurricane Harvey came ashore near the coastal town in late August.
The event brought together many residents of Aransas Pass to enjoy an early Thanksgiving feast for the community, which brought joy to Mendez and her family.
“Everybody has been really friendly and all our family can come out and eat together here,” she said.
The feast saw many volunteer groups come out to serve food and desserts, and to help put together the Nov. 14 event, which almost was postponed because of the Civic Center receiving storm damage.
“We were thinking of postponing it, but we decided to do it bare bones and manpower to do,” said Sarah Lee, director of community enrichment for Aransas Pass.
Lee was more than pleased to see the amount of help they received and said they had more volunteers this year than in the past.
Helping serve food to residents, Mindy Cook volunteered selflessly to give back to her hometown roots.
“It’s a bonding experience for all of us, and it’s to let the public know that we are still here for them and have their back through all of this,” Cook said.
Other volunteers, including Alex Hinojosa, came from outside Aransas Pass to help out with the feast for the locals.
“With everything that this community has gone through, I felt it was necessary to help in whatever way possible,” Hinojosa said.
Of the four years that the feast has happened, this year was more meaningful to mayor of Aransas Pass, Ramiro Gomez.
“This came right after Hurricane Harvey came through here, so there was a good need for this to get the community together,” Gomez said. He added that it provided a chance for locals to interact with one another to see where they stand and help out.
Lee said the turnout for this year was a success with over 500 people in attendance to receive a hot meal.
“I’m very pleased. This definitely surpassed more people than we had in the past,” Lee said.