LUBBOCK, Texas — First United Methodist Church (FUMC) of Lubbock announced in a press release it will be hosting its 31st annual community Thanksgiving meal on Saturday, November 11, 2023, which is free and open to the public.

According to the release, the event will take place at FUMC, at 1411 Broadway Street from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There, anyone can attend and receive a free traditional Thanksgiving meal.

With a thousand people expected for the event, the director of College and Missions, Michael Spaulding, said it takes a lot of help.

“People that order all the food and prepare and carve the turkeys and cook the turkeys and people that set up the tables and people that are on the day of volunteer and serve, fill the plates with food, take the plates to the tables, help people find open seats, it is truly a group effort,” Spaulding said.

Spaulding said the church ordered 60 turkeys to feed the one thousand guests, and will immediately begin prepping them Friday, along with sides for Saturday’s event. Plates will be served as a traditional turkey dinner with green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls and a mini pecan pie for dessert. Drinks will also be available.

Spaulding said his favorite part about the event is hosting those in the community and inviting them into the church to share their blessings with those who need it.

“It’s just the opportunity it presents to be hospitable and we hope that that’s something that bleeds through to the rest of the year beyond just Thanksgiving and that we would be a place that’s known for how we welcome people,” Spaulding said.

The event began in 1992, and since then nearly 31,000 people have received a free Thanksgiving dinner.