Volunteers prepare to feed thousands for Augusta Feast Before the Feast

Feast before the feast
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News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Thanksgiving is just one week away, and one event is feeding families with a Feast Before the Feast.

This year there are three locations where you can go and get a delicious early Thanksgiving meal. The event takes 200 volunteers, 150 turkeys, 200 hams, 300 pounds of cabbage and 2,000 cupcakes.

After weeks of getting ready, it's finally time to eat.

"It's the Feast Before the Feast; it's that meal that you get leading up to Thanksgiving," explained organizer and Richmond County Council of PTA's President Monique Braswell.

Charles Hall is volunteering to help make the day special for thousands of local families.

"I helped with it last year; it was a great success. It was very touching 'cause there was a lot that I didn't know about this area that I learned last year so I'm looking forward to it this year," Hall said. "Just the amount of people that were low and no income in the Augusta area."

Turkey and potatoes, collard greens and dessert ... 100 percent fresh and homemade.

"People leave here and actually say that the food is delicious," Braswell said.

"The spread is going to be huge," Hall said.

With two locations last year, organizers are adding Cherry Tree Crossing Community Center to the list this year.

"This is our way of kissing hunger goodbye. We've been working in partnership with the Richmond County Council of PTA's for a number of years and this is our way of showing how grateful we are for the people in the community," explained Cher Best with 96.3 Kiss FM.

"We just thought that this would be a good time to get the parents involved, the students and the community," Braswell said.

As everyone gives thanks this holiday season, some are just thankful to have a hot meal.

"There's some of our families, right here in the CSRA that may not be as fortunate as us," Best said.

"It is worth it in the end, just seeing the smiling faces and for someone to come up afterwards and say, 'Thank you for giving me probably the only meal I'll have this year for Thanksgiving,' that does mean a lot," Hall said.

They expect to feed at least 5,000 people.

"We're looking for as many people in the community as would like to join us, we'd be happy to have you," Best said.

"The meal is free to anyone. Everyone -- old, young, you name it -- you should be here," Braswell said.

The Feast Before the Feast goes until 8 p.m. Thursday night. They're serving up dishes at Cherry Tree, Olmstead Homes and Oak Pointe Community Centers. Anyone is invited. About a dozen different organizations help to make these events possible.

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