Larger than expected crowd turns out for community meal

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A larger than expected crowd turned out to the Jonesboro community Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, so many in fact, that they ran out of serving plates.

Organizers said the huge turnout could be a sign of a sluggish economy. But regardless of the reason, there was still fun to go around. "It's about feeling blessed for what you have and giving back," said Melissa Coles, she and her family turned out on Thursday to help out with the community meal.

Coles said they never miss an opportunity to serve people "like a Roman". "We have a lot of volunteers and a lot of people helping out," said Coles.

"The volunteers who come out and work get more out of it than the people we serve," said Jim Girshm, a long time organizers of the community Thanksgiving meal. Girshm said he was surprise him the overwhelming response from the needy this year.

According to the event organizers, 1,483 meals were given away this year. That is over 400 more meals than were served at last years community meal.

But as it is every year, the meal continues to serve the community and teach valuable life lessons to those involved, "It's important to teach your kids at a young age about people that need help and what Thanksgiving is all about," said Coles.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.