20,000 gather at OC free Thanksgiving event

ANAHEIM, Calif. This is the 24th year /*La Casa Garcia*/ restaurant has been serving free Thanksgiving dinner to the public.

"Everybody's invited. Whoever doesn't have a meal to eat, or if you just want company, you don't have anybody to eat with, just come over, you're invited," said Claudio Loyola of Jay's Catering.

The /*Anaheim Ducks*/ joined volunteers and hand out food.

Last year, 17,000 people were served meals, and this year organizers expected 20,000 people. Loyola said they are expecting more people this year because of the economy.

Frank Garcia, founder of the event, said he wanted to provide a hot meal to those who couldn't have it.

"A lot of people don't know what Thanksgiving is all about," Garcia said. "Thanksgiving is to give thanks to God that you got this plate in front of you. There's a lot of people who don't have it."

Garcia urged everyone to join them at the Honda Center.

"I don't care who you are, please be here with us," Garcia said.

Meals were provided from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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