Feast of Sharing held in Weslaco for those hungry for brisket, community

dfwnewsa | December 16, 2023 | 0 | East Texas News , South Texas News

Feast of Sharing held in Weslaco for those hungry for brisket, community

WESLACO — The heavenly aroma of brisket lingered in the air while children laughed and parents ate to their hearts’ content, and volunteers quickly moved from station to station, dutifully attending to every need.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Weslaco hosted thousands of families and volunteers and H-E-B employees Saturday for the store’s annual Feast of Sharing, creating these moments of joy and festiveness for people in need of a warm meal.

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For Audrey Treviño Guerra, H-E-B public affairs specialist, the event allows people to celebrate the holidays by enjoying a meal together.

H-E-B has been hosting Feast of Sharing across the state of Texas and Mexico for about 35 years, servicing about 34 dinners in different communities each year.

Many attend the 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing Holiday Dinner Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Weslaco at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Treviño Guerra and her team were anticipating feeding over 3,000 guests Saturday who would be enjoying a traditional Texas barbecue. In addition to brisket, plates were also filled with sausage, potato salad, beans, bread and apple pie. Not a bad score.

Volunteers held signs as they made their way across the venue tending to each guest.

“We’re supported by many different organizations that come in and volunteer, we have hundreds of volunteers from schools to city entities,” Treviño Guerra said. “It does take a big group to put this on.”

She explained that they have about 200 partnerships come together for the Feast of Sharing in Weslaco alone.

Many wait in line outside St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church during the 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing Holiday Dinner Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Weslaco. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Treviño Guerra, who has worked at H-E-B for 20 years, said the feast is not just about giving back to the community but an opportunity to bring them together.

“It’s just being able to connect with our customers out in the community, be able to give them a nice warm holiday meal and to also celebrate all of our accomplishments and everything we’re looking forward to in the new year,” Treviño Guerra said tenderly.

Among the volunteers was Major Michael Tressider of the Texas State Guard.

“Our motto is ‘Texans serving Texas,’ well this is an opportunity for us to serve our fellow Texans and give back and bring some join in this season,” Tressider said.

Hot meals are served by volunteers during the 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing Holiday Dinner at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Weslaco. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

He and his team assist in various aspects of the event, such as preparing meals, serving plates or even helping people find a seat.

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Volunteers carried crates full of pie while others hauled various drinks from table to table.

Tressider explained that while it’s always rewarding to give of his time to help others, breaking bread with the people he’s helping and sharing the holidays and festive moments with them does his soul, and theirs, good.

Times like these help create memories, such as local talent who perform music at the feasts. But what happened at one event two years ago is what he recalled most fondly, when a performer sang Christmas carols in Spanish and English, and possibly at least two other languages.

Many attend the 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing Holiday Dinner Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Weslaco at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

This was a moment that he never forgot not just because of the charming aesthetics and sincere joy shared during the occasion, but because it was an effort to bring cultures as well as communities together.

“The fact that he was trying to celebrate Christmas with all the different cultures, I thought it was great,” Tressider said.

Delilah Benites attended the event with her mom, Maria Elva Vega, and three daughters in support of her other daughter who was volunteering at the event.

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“It feels awesome,” Benites said, adding that she’s proud of her daughter for giving back to her community.

Families enjoy a hot meal at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, during the 21st annual H-E-B Feast of Sharing Holiday Dinner in Weslaco. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

Not only was Benites excited to see her daughter but she was also looking forward to spending time with those in her hometown.

With all the business of everyday life, Benites was grateful to H-E-B for not only providing hot meals for those in the community, but also giving people a chance to spend time together.

“You see everybody in your community come together and talk,” Benites said. “Here you run into everybody.”

Vega thanked God for those who came together to support their community during the holidays.

H-E-B celebrates their 21st annual Feast of Sharing Holiday Dinner Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Weslaco. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

“H-E-B has been very supportive to all the needy and they’ve helped a lot of people out,” Vega said with gratitude.

Benites concurred.

“A lot of people might not have one (a hot meal) tomorrow so at least they get to enjoy it today,” Benites said.

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