Blanket and clothing drive kicks off today

HOUSTON Today kicks off 16th Annual Waste Management Blanket and Clothing Drive. The public is invited to drop-off blankets and gently worn used clothing at First City Tower located at 1001 Fannin at Lamar in the lobby on the ground floor. The Waste Management Blanket and Clothing Drive will continue each weekday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Tuesday, November 23.

All blankets and clothing will be distributed to the homeless and less fortunate at the 26th Annual Waste Management Superfeast to be held Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26. The Superfeast will be held outside on the grounds of Houston City Hall (located at 900 Smith between Walker and McKinney) and Tranquility Park. The Superfeast will join Houston City Hall and Tranquility Park by closing Walker Street. Thanksgiving dinner will be served from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and the time will be extended if needed. Each guest is welcome to go through the serving lines as many times as he or she would like, no questions asked.

The Superfeast will serve 9,000 pounds of turkey, 4,000 pounds of dressing, 400 gallons of gravy, 4,000 pounds of whole cranberries, 4,000 pounds of green beans, 4,000 pounds of corn and mixed vegetables, 30,000 slices of bread, 21,000 servings of assorted cakes and pies from Walmart and Camelot Desserts, and more than 21,000 servings of Coca-Cola. Nothing will go to waste; all excess food will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.

In addition to serving Thanksgiving dinner, the Superfeast will feature information referral services, musical entertainment, and the Waste Management children's area. The Waste Management children's area will have two moonwalks, arts and crafts, face painting, and games. Arriving in Waste Management's 40-foot Christmas Sleigh will be Santa Claus. Children will be able to visit with Santa and receive a complimentary picture as a souvenir.

This years' Superfeast is expecting 18,000 to 21,000 Thanksgiving dinner guests. Everyone is welcome. The Superfeast was originally for the homeless and less fortunate. As a result of many people not having family, friends, or a place to go on Thanksgiving, the Superfeast is welcoming all people to come together at the Superfeast. Due to the economy and unemployment rate, the Superfeast is expecting an increase in the number of guests attending this years' event.

All volunteers must sign up online and must check in at the WM Superfeast Volunteer Tent on Walker Street on Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers are needed to set-up, cook, serve, wait on tables, fold and distribute clothing, distribute referral information, and clean up from 5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The time each volunteer donates will be greatly appreciated. All volunteers are welcome to eat at the Superfeast. Rain or shine the Superfeast goes on.

To meet the growing needs of the Superfeast, in 2005 the event moved to Houston City Hall and Tranquility Park. Prior to 2005, Sam Houston Park was the location for the Superfeast. Prior to 1995, the Superfeast was held outside at Jones Plaza. Prior to 1989, the event was held outside of the Houston City Hall.

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