SAN ANTONIO – H-E-B employees prepared 3,400 holiday meals on Tuesday for homebound senior citizens.
The volunteers gathered at Meals on Wheels San Antonio to prepare festive meals consisting of turkey with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, a dinner roll, milk and dessert.
The grocery chain donates the items for the holiday dinner.
Volunteers with Meals on Wheels will deliver the meals to seniors on Friday.
"This is a time where we can put together a really fun holiday meal for our seniors (and) make sure it's delivered to them," H-E-B spokeswoman Julie Bedingfield said.
Meals on Wheels serves more than 1 million senior citizens a year. Their staff and volunteers prepare and deliver 4,000 meals a day, and while they work on many holidays, they get Christmas off.
That's where the grocery chain steps in.
Eight employees worked Tuesday, with more volunteers coming in Wednesday to finish up.
"All the things that we would be eating -- turkey, stuffing, everything great and they get to know that someone helped prepare that for them, that someone donated it to make sure that they knew that they weren't alone, and that the community cares for them," said Veronica Dominguez of Meals on Wheels. "In social services, you do a lot of work on the holidays, you want to make sure that the community knows that you're there and that you are providing these things. But I know our staff really appreciates what we're doing."
For the paid Meals On Wheels staff who work day-in and day-out to feed the community, the extra hands are always welcome.
"It makes it a lot easier on us. It's like they tell us, 'Load and go,'" said Daniel Martinez, who has worked for Meals on Wheels for three years.
Meals on Wheels officials said they need at least 1,000 more volunteers to keep up with growth.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call 210-735-5115 and ask for Community Engagement, or visit the Meals on Wheels website and click on the volunteer page.