Central Texas nonprofits are gearing up for the big holiday meal on Thursday, but as several groups in Killeen report, the number of people in need has risen despite an improving economy.
For Pastor Steve Chae, Thanksgiving is a day to reach out to others.
"That's why we started up, so we can be able to help,” he said. “Not a whole lot, but so we can be able to start to do something."
Through his mission, the Jesus Hope & Love Mission, he helps feed more than 100 people every week. Last year, they fed about 300 people on Thanksgiving.
"I didn't even prepare a whole lot, but God will send it to you, the volunteers and the food," Pastor Chae said.
The Salvation Army also expects a big crowd for thanksgiving dinner.
"We served, last year, well over 400 people," Lt. Chris Bryant said. "They're from the homeless person who has nowhere to go for a Thanksgiving meal to the family who may not have been able financially to provide a Thanksgiving meal."
Those who volunteer also say demand is up.
"Especially in the last year, we've seen our services increase over thirty percent," Lt. Bryant said. "We've actually seen probably 15 percent of our donor base in the last year come to us in need."
Thanksgiving is just one day, but the needs are year-round.
"Nothing shows thankfulness like a good meal," Lt. Bryant said.