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La Casa Garcia restaurant serves thousands of Thanksgiving meals

Thousands were fed at the Honda Center in Anaheim during the largest free Thanksgiving Day feast in Orange County.
November 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
More than 15,000 people were expected to be fed by the end of the day at the Honda Center in Anaheim during the largest free Thanksgiving Day feast in Orange County Thursday.

This is the 27th year La Casa Garcia restaurant and the We Give Thanks Foundation extend their tables and hearts to the community.

Frank Garcia, founder of the event, said anyone looking for a little warmth is invited, whether in need of a meal or family around the table.

"I want everybody to come and eat. I don't care where you come from. I don't care if you got money or don't got money, if you need companionship, you come here, we're a big family," said Garcia.

He said he considers his partnership with the Honda Center and the city of Anaheim a blessing. The first year of the event fed 300 people. Now thousands of meals are prepared and served by an army of volunteers. By the end of the day, more than 15,000 meals were expected to be served.

For many, volunteering for the event has become a tradition.

"Once you start serving, you feel great. You start seeing how people are in need and you're able to help them out, it's the best feeling," said volunteer Susan Ruiz.

Approximately 3,000 pies, 5,000 pounds of potatoes, 1,000 pounds of onions, five cases of bell peppers and 80 gallons of gravy were served.

Leftover food will be distributed to people living under the county's bridges.

"All the food that's left, we take under the bridges," said Garcia. "We have three churches that go and serve over 100 bridges in Orange County."

The event was open to everyone and ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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