OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - Assembly lines of volunteers filled hundreds of Styrofoam containers full of your tradition Thanksgiving meal on Thursday.
It's all a part of Harvest Evangelism's annual Thanksgiving Day Dinner under the big top, behind Harvest Thrift Super Center in Opelika.
"Just a wonderful time seeing the community come together for both those in need and those with bounty. I think that's the way it should be," explains ministry founder, Pastor Rick Hagans.
For over 20 years the east Alabama community has made this tradition of giving back a Thanksgiving staple.
Last year over 1,300 meals were served. This year the ministry has prepared more than 1,500 dinners.
"It is amazing, but is more amazing to see everybody show up and just want to help and be a part of it," says Director of Hosanna Home, Angie Chappell.
The containers are loaded into vehicles and delivered throughout the day to the needy, shut-ins, local jails and the homeless.
"Within in one and half miles of where we are standing there is a homeless village in the woods with about 30 people. You don't think of that in Auburn/ Opelika, the loveliest village on the plains, but there are needy people," explains Hagans.
To make this day a reality, volunteers prepared dozens of turkeys in advance with all the trimmings.
And while boxes were filled the community visited, gave thanks, and shared what thanksgiving is really all about.
"It's just great people still have that heard of giving and caring about people," says Chappell.