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Thanksgiving community dinners are slowly coming back this year

Principe de Paz Church in Austin held a hybrid event Thursday where people could either pick up a plate or stay and enjoy the meal with others.

AUSTIN, Texas — It's Thanksgiving!

Turkeys are in the oven and potatoes are getting smashed. 

Eating good food is the main event this holiday and the reason for gathering at Iglesia Bautista Principe de Paz.

Principe de Paz's secretary Isabela Garcia said they're celebrating by giving back to the community.

"This person came and said she had problems at home to pay her bills," said Garcia. "She didn't have food. They cut off her gas. It's wonderful that person knew there was a place she could come and get help."

On Thursday they helped hundreds of people like that person.

The event is on that has been around for years, but had many limitations in 2020. However, as Central Texas adapts to COVID-19, so does the church. 

"This year, we've made it more of a hybrid event where we still have mostly to-go," said Nestor Menjivar, pastor at Principe de Paz. "But we have some tables set up for those. There are some people that they don't have a place to go and have their Thanksgiving meal."

They wanted to make sure everyone felt the love because there's nothing like being in community.

"Lots of people are coming from other countries that don't celebrate Thanksgiving," said Garcia. "When this person comes to the U.S., for us, it's important to show them they have a place."

"Even though this is a country that has been blessed, and we have much, there are still many that are in need," said Menjivar. "We all need to do a little bit to help others out."

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