For the sixth year in a row, Fort Worth Country Day juniors will serve up Thanksgiving Day meals and smiles at Central Market’s Feast of Sharing event on Tuesday, November 7. The event, which takes place in the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall within the Will Rogers Memorial Center from 2-7 p.m., reaches nearly 10,000 people in need with more than 800 partners and community members volunteering to serve at the event. The FWCD service shift is from 1:30 until 4 p.m.
Feast of Sharing is the Class of 2019 community service event, and a junior class outreach since 2012. The Upper School’s first year to volunteer at Feast of Sharing was in 2011. Rita Zawalnicki, Community Service Coordinator, took 20 students to Dallas to help with the event there at the Fairgrounds. When Central Market brought the event to the Will Rogers Memorial Center (Amon Carter Exhibit Hall) in 2012, it became a signature junior class event. Students serve sit-down turkey dinners, drinks, pumpkin pie and ice cream, and clear tables after guests are finished eating.
Central Market’s parent company, H-E-B, started Feast of Sharing more than 25 years ago in Laredo and Corpus Christi. Today, the event touches lives throughout Texas and Mexico in the months of November and December, serving more than 250,000 people.
The Feast of Sharing dinner is free and open to people of all ages. During the celebration, guests are served a complete Thanksgiving meal by a wait staff of volunteers who bring meals to the tables. The celebration also includes a Family and Social Services Area and Kid’s Zone with bounce houses, face painters and photos with Santa Claus.
In DFW, Central Market is prepared to serve 20,000 people combined during two five-hour events in Fort Worth and Dallas. According to H-E-B, just one Feast of Sharing event equals:
- 3,000 pounds of sliced turkey
- 2,500 pounds of cornbread dressing
- 750 pumpkin pies
- 380 gallons of mashed potatoes
- 140 gallons of turkey gravy
- 95 gallons of cranberry sauce
“Volunteering at Feast of Sharing is a meaningful service experience, and I am so grateful to be able to offer such a worthwhile volunteer experience to a large group of our FWCD students,” Zawalnicki said. “When I work alongside our juniors who are plating food, cleaning up dirty dishes, etc., and see their genuine smiles and kind interaction with the guests, it often brings tears to my eyes and always brings pride to my heart. We work hard at the event, but I’ve never had a student express anything but joy and satisfaction for being able to serve at this event.”