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Victoria H-E-B continues Feast of Sharing legacy

By JR Ortega
Dec. 14, 2011 at 6:14 a.m.


IF YOU GO

H-E-B's Feast of Sharing

WHAT: H-E-B will be serving free holiday meals to share in the camaraderie during the holiday season, and express thanks and appreciation to the community.WHEN: 3-7 p.m., MondayWHERE: Victoria Community Center, 2905 E. North St.

Gus Kroos knows growth.

For more than two decades, Kroos, a former unit director for H-E-B, has helped coordinate the H-E-B Feast of Sharing, which kicks off its 21st holiday dinner Monday.

The community event serves about 5,000 meals each year. When Kroos first started with the holiday feast in 1985, only about 2,500 meals were served.

"It's probably the most gratifying thing I'm involved in," Kroos said.

The amount of food available is monstrous: 5,000 dinner rolls, 1,250 pounds of glazed ham, 450 pies, 155 gallons of mashed potatoes, 90 gallons of vegetable medley and 60 gallons of browny gravy make up the feast.

On top of that, soft drinks are served, and 200 free flu shots are administered.

About 300 volunteers are expected for the feast, Kroos said.

The feast begins with a 15-minute opening ceremony, followed with the meals and entertainment, including a mariachi concert, performances from the Victoria Ballet Folklorico, Chase Brown and the jazz ensemble.

"The company is just phenomenal in serving the community like this," he said.

The feast is a statewide community event. At least 33 other communities participate, as well as 10 dinners H-E-B provides to small towns in Mexico.

A mobile kitchen will be on-hand should more meals need to be cooked, Kroos said.

Being part of the event is something Kroos has always enjoyed.

"You just appreciate what you can give to people," he said.

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