FORT VALLEY, Ga. — In five days, many folks will be stuffing their faces for thanksgiving with staples like turkey and mac & cheese.
Several groups across Central Georgia have been lending a hand in making sure families can fill their bellies with holiday favorites.
The folks at Hope Church in Fort Valley held their 25th annual Feed the City event.
They say they aren't just feeding the city with a nice thanksgiving meal. Throughout the day, you could see folks also handing out a lot of smiles and waves. The visiting cars responded with lots of honking.
"We've got piles of turkeys here and just stacks and stacks of bags," head pastor Jordan Poole said.
There were 2,500 bags filled with all the thanksgiving fixings, macaroni and cheese, corn bread, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, etc. Plus, everyone got a butterball turkey.
Poole says there were long lines of people hoping to get a holiday meals, with people arriving as early as 7:00 a.m.
Nearly 400 volunteers came out to support, from other churches and organizations in the city.
"There's needs, and God has blessed us to help meet those needs," he said.
There were helpers of all ages, and the youth were some of the most excited to give back.
15-year-old Matt Molina volunteered for the first time this year, and says he does it to give back to his community.
"I know a lot of people that have difficult times, and I just come out here and support them," he said.
16-year-old Ionela Munteanu joins Molina, and says her favorite part was speaking to the people.
"We all have family, but some may not, so I think its important to give back and just bless them and make them feel loved during the holiday," Munteanu said.
Others volunteers were regulars to the event, like Joe Rauls. He says this is his third year volunteering, and his favorite part is seeing kids honk the steering wheels as they drive through.
"It's a very humbling experience, just giving back to the community, and seeing the smiles on their faces and everyone being appreciative," Rauls said.
No matter who you speak too, everyone agreed that the smiles were their favorite part. That's why they intentionally create an atmosphere of joy.
"We want it to feel like a parade. When people pull on the property, we don't want them to just come in the line get their turkey and go," Poole said. "We want every car to know that we care about you, we're gonna smile at you, were gonna wave at you and make sure you're feeling lifted up, not just in physical needs but in joy and happiness as well."
Poole invites everyone to join them for Sunday services starting at 10:00 a.m. in Fort Valley. They are located 204 Sullivan Road by the Peach County-Houston County border.