44th annual Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner serves 25,000 people

Event hosted at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

SAN ANTONIO – Tens of thousands of people sat down for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, courtesy of one charitable organization.

This year marks the 44th anniversary of the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

“It’s a community event. We’re very blessed to have this year in and year out, but it’s a way to get the best of humanity, the best of San Antonio,” said Raul Jimenez III. “We look forward to 45 (years).”

The event was created for seniors and people experiencing homelessness or food insecurity. However, anyone was invited to dine together at a community dinner table where they enjoyed a free, hot Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, along with live music and entertainment.

“There are thousands of people depending on it,” Patricia Jimenez, daughter of Raul Jimenez, told KSAT. “I think the need is greater than ever, and there are so many people who aren’t just alone but are struggling financially, a lot of homeless individuals, and everybody is welcomed.”

Volunteers also delivered meals to those who were homebound. And some took meals to-go.

“The dinner was one of the best. I took three home with me,” said Royce Brough, an attendee of the event.

The Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner returned in 2022 following a short hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizers had to pivot in 2020 and 2021, and instead of an in-person event, meals were distributed with the help of more than 40 partnering organizations and volunteers.

About the Authors

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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