- Associated Press - Monday, November 19, 2018

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Galveston County charity organizations one year ago were bracing for larger-than-normal crowds at community Thanksgiving meals because many residents were still displaced by Hurricane Harvey, said Holly McDonald, with The Salvation Army of Galveston County.

The Galveston County Daily News reports this year, it’s much harder to know what to expect, she said.

Hurricane Harvey hit Galveston County in late August 2017, dumping more than 50 inches of rain on some parts of the county, flooding creeks and bayous and flooding an estimated 20,000 homes in the county.

Some neighborhoods were devastated and many residents had to live in hotels for months as they awaited home repairs.

“With our gift assistance program, we were expecting less people to sign up compared to last year,” McDonald said. “But we’ve had even less than we were expecting. I don’t know if that’s a function of the economy being so good, and people are working and not needing much assistance. Or that people have left the area. We also don’t know if the same will be true of Thanksgiving.”

Despite the uncertainty about turnout, volunteers for charity organizations throughout the county spent the weekend cooking turkeys, collecting food donations and gathering large amounts of other supplies expecting large numbers of people to visit.

“We’ll be cooking enough to feed 1,000 people,” said Barbara White, volunteer for the annual Texas City community Thanksgiving. “We’ve sent flyers all over asking people to attend, even telling police to get food to feed prisoners and people working at the jail that day.”

The aim is to cook about 100 turkeys, White said.

The annual event is hosted by United Faith Alliance, a group of several mid-county churches, White said.

The annual Thanksgiving Feast will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Texas City, officials said.

“We try to publicize it as much as possible and anyone who needs to come eat can; just show up,” she said.

Attendees can also pick up coats, jackets and bags of groceries at the event, she said.

Officials with The Salvation Army, meanwhile, are dividing their attention between several different planned events throughout Galveston County, McDonald said.

The group will host its third annual Thanksgiving feast from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday at its headquarters, 601 51st St., Galveston, in addition to participating in four other events, McDonald said.

“We’ll be cooking 1,500 meals altogether, between here and four other locations,” she said.


Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com

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