Thanksgiving comes a week early with Feast Before the Feast

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:44 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Braswell Manigault Foundation is hosting the Feast Before the Feast event Thursday.

The Feast Before the Feast is an early Thanksgiving dinner for the community to enjoy for free.

The event will be held from 5-8 p.m. at three locations: McBean Community Center, McDuffie Woods Community Center, and Carrie J. Mays Community Center.

It was started by the founder of Braswell Manigault Foundation, Monique Braswell.

Out of love for her community, Braswell started the feast out of her own kitchen. She later partnered with Augusta Parks and Recreation as a way to get the community back in the community center.

Some foods to expect are ham, turkey, chicken, dressing, and macaroni and cheese.

They are expecting to serve a hot thanksgiving meal to more than 2,000 people at three locations. And this year means more to this group than ever.

“The food insecurity that’s happening with the grocery stores closing and people not having access like they used to, with the with those stores being available, it’s kind of hard-to-get food. So anytime we’re able to provide a good meal to anybody who’s in need,” said Mary Harrison, CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority Inc.

Volunteers with the Braswell Manigault Foundation have spent the past four weeks getting ready for the 15th year of this event.

“We started weeks and weeks ago with Sam’s runs, and grocery store runs. Our van was filled from the backseat of the driver’s seat all the way to the end with food. So it definitely takes prep time and volunteers,” she said.

They realize after coming off a five-year pause due to the founder’s cancer diagnosis, they needed more prep time.

“So this year, we’re definitely expecting a whole lot more because they had a lot of time to get the word out and put it on people’s radar,” said Harrison.

They did have to cut things like rice and collards, but with help from the community, they prepared more than 200lb of cabbage, 200lbs of chicken, 1,500lbs of turkey, 900lbs of ham, 25 pans of mac and cheese, 25 pans of dressing, yams, string beans corn and dessert.

Harrison says community support is what it’s all about.

“You see the community, even through inflation, you know, people are struggling, but giving is free. It takes nothing to give some time and some energy that you know is gonna put a smile on someone’s face,” she said.

More Thanksgiving events


Thanksgiving Holiday Mini-Camp- Nov. 21-22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Wine and Design, Augusta

  • During camp, we will spend days discovering and creating all things Fall. Children must bring a snack, lunch, and a water bottle. Turkey Giveaway- D. brown foundation inc. Thursday 10 am – 5 p.m.

Give Thanks Family Paint Night- Nov. 23, 3-5 p.m., Wine & Design, Augusta

  • Is the family in town for Thanksgiving? Looking for something everyone can do? W&D Augusta’s got you. Get the family out of the house and come paint.

Kids Thanksgiving Movie Afternoon- Nov. 23, 4-5:30 p.m., Nancy Carson Library

  • Drop in to watch some fun holiday shorts before the festivities begin. Bring your refreshments. Shorts to be shown: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Garfield’s Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Garfield’s Christmas.


Thanksgiving Community Food Drive- Nov. 7-19, Davis Appliance and Furniture

  • 3rd Annual Thanksgiving food drive, collecting foods to pair with donated turkeys for over 70 families.

Food Drive for National Hunger- Nov. 16-Nov. 24, Aiken County School District

  • Aiken County school district is hosting a food drive for national hunger and awareness week this week. It is collecting canned and dry goods this week that will be placed in the blessing boxes across the county next week for Thanksgiving.

Annual Thanksgiving Drive- Nov. 17, 5 p.m., Burke County Sheriff’s Department

  • Officials say due to the rising costs in turkey they will not provide it this year. You can select either ham or hen this year. You must have your driver’s license and only one meal will be available per vehicle.

Homeless Pets Donation Event- Nov. 19, 9 a.m.-5p.m., Hollywood Feed pet store on Crane Creek Drive

  • Sometimes we forget about our furry friends who don’t have a home to celebrate. You can help out by donating dog or cat food, and toys and treats to the “paw-prints foundation” and “long dog rescue.”

Thanksgiving Blood Drives- Nov. 19-23, Shepheard Community Blood

  • This Saturday, the blood mobile will be at the fresh market in Aiken from 10 a.m.-3p.m. Sunday, you can also go to greater Aiken faith fellowship from 1-5p.m. Once you donate, you’ll get a $15 voucher for a turkey or ham.

Turkey in a Box- Nov. 19, 8:30-10 a.m., Wagener Fire Department

  • Aiken Electric Cooperative support, the food distribution initiative in Wagener, S.C., presented by Area Churches Together Serving.

Holiday in the Park- Nov. 19-Jan 1, Six Flags over Georgia

  • This year, the park’s flagship, wintertime event boasts all-new experiences, like the Six Flags Holiday Market, magical, new live shows, and the return of guest-favorite attractions, shows, food, and more.

Thanksgiving Meal- Nov. 20, 5-6 p.m., Augusta Dream Center

  • Augusta Dream Center will be providing a free turkey and fixings to take home for your own Thanksgiving dinner. While the giveaway is first-come, first-served, you can also join us as we sit down as a community and share a meal immediately following the giveaway.

Thanksgiving Week Buffet- Nov. 20-26, 2195 Augusta Road.

  • Help Walking Tall Ministries serve a full buffet every single day of Thanksgiving week by dropping off your donated meal of any kind in a 9x13 pan if possible. Sides, entrées, and desserts are needed, everyone is welcome to come to eat daily even on holidays at 9 am sharp.

Feed the Community Event- Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., T.W. Josey High School

  • T.W. Josey High School is hosting its 12th annual Feed the Community event, if you would like to donate or volunteer please contact, Shonta Bradley (706) 513-9714.

Friendsgiving Party- Nov. 23, 4-10:45 p.m., Top Dawg Tavern

Thanksgiving Dinner- Nov. 24, 3-11 p.m., Atomic City Cafe, New Ellenton

  • 2nd Annual dinner for anyone who doesn’t have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving, anyone with no family. After there will be a clothes drive for people in need. Leftovers are taken to retirement homes in the area.

Celebrate Thanksgiving- Nov. 24, 12-8 p.m., Crowne Plaza North Augusta

  • Salt + Marrow Kitchen, located at Crowne Plaza North Augusta, is taking the stress out of the holidays this year with a Thanksgiving feast to remember! Join us for a 3-Course Family-Style Prix-Fixe.

Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner- Nov. 24, 6-9 p.m., Capri Lounge

  • Capri Lounge is happy to bring back our annual Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner for 2022. We cordially invite everyone in the community to bring a dish.

Thanksgiving Meal Competition- McNeely’s Place

  • The Post and Courier North Augusta giving away a complete Thanksgiving meal, catered by Something So Right Events.