Thousands of free Thanksgiving meals served across El Paso

EL PASO, Texas – A warm Thanksgiving meal, with plenty of seconds, means a lot to Anthony Sharp and his son A.J.

Sharp has hit some tough times, and is out of work. He said he’s grateful the Salvation Army opened its doors.

"This meal is something that I could not prepare myself without the proper equipment or the proper funding. Without the salvation army, this would just be another day for us," Sharp said. "It’s just — it’s more than words can say."

The Salvation Army provided free Thanksgiving meals to over 500 people on Thursday.

"They’ve helped me to reestablish footing in life with food and clothing and shelter," Sharp said.

Similarly, the City of El Paso helped feed those who are less fortunate. Organizers said they estimated they fed 4,000 people at the Thanksgiving luncheon held at the Convention Center.

"It was my wife’s idea to give something back to the El Paso community on thanksgiving day. Rather than staying at home and cooking turkey with our family, we found a way to feed the homeless and the needy," former mayor John Cook said.

Eric Massingill went to the luncheon with his wife and parents.

"I’m actually grateful that the community here is opening their heart for everybody that — if maybe they don’t have a place to call home or go to their own home and make their own turkey dinner," Massingill said.

Jalisco Cafe, a Mexican restaurant in the Segundo Barrio neighborhood, continues its 14-year tradition of offering free meals for Thanksgiving.

"We give something back to the community because a lot of people here, it’s a poor neighborhood," owner Hector Chavez said. "A lot of people don’t have the means or the ways to cook Thanksgiving dinner. It’s something I just like to give back to the community."

Chavez said in his first year, he only cooked three turkeys. He prepared 35 turkeys for this Thursday.

"I’ve been cooking for the last two days," Chavez said.

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