More than 5,000 meals are expected to be served Dec. 19 as H-E-B hosts the 23rd annual Feast of Sharing at the Victoria Community Center. In addition to the free meal, activities and crafts for children are planned as well as live on-stage entertainment. The first 200 guests will be eligible to receive a free flu shot. Feeding that many people is a challenge and requires a lot of hands. "We need volunteers,"  Michael Greenly, coordinator of this year's event and unit director at the H-E-B on Rio Grande Street in Victoria, told the Victoria Advocate. "We can use help setting up from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and serving from 2:45 to 7 p.m."

Altogether, 1,250 pounds of glazed ham, 1,250 pounds of mashed potatoes, 1,100 pounds of vegetable medley, 100 gallons of brown gravy, 500 pies and 5,000 dinner rolls will be served, according to a news release from H-E-B.

Greenly said volunteers can choose the area in which they wish to help or be assigned where needed. "The best way to sign up to volunteer is to call 2-1-1 and choose option one on the recorded message," he said. "Be sure to tell the operator you want to volunteer for Victoria's Feast of Sharing." Deadline to register as a volunteer is Dec. 18. Groups, families and individuals are invited to participate.

Feast of Sharing is a tradition started by Florence Butt more than 100 years ago when she hosted community dinners in her home, according to the news release. It is now part of H-E-B's Helping Here initiative designed to improve the quality of life for residents in the communities H-E-B serves. Feast of Sharing has grown to 32 locations that serve more than 250,000 hot meals to people throughout Texas and Mexico, according to the news release.