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Randy Sams hosts annual Thanksgiving meal

In Texarkana, Randy Sams' Outreach Shelter hosts a feast.

In Texarkana, Randy Sams' Outreach Shelter held a holiday feast.


On Thursday, their annual Thanksgiving meal was held.


For many, Thanksgiving is a day full of blessings, especially for those in need.


Jesse Hakes Jr. says he's thankful to be alive and for Randy Sams.


Each year, the shelter opens their door to the community to give out free meals.


"People don't realize that there are a lot of people that go hungry," said Executive Director Jennifer Laurent.


But as hundreds line up for food, reality sets in on just how tough times are getting.


"Thanksgiving is an expensive meal to cook and not everyone can swing it in their budget," said Laurent. "So we're happy to be able to offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to anyone who wants one even if they can't afford it themselves."


The meal has everything, mashed potatoes, stuffing, turkey and ham. Those who came to eat say they're just happy and grateful that something like this is available.


"I think it's a wonderful thing," said Hakes.


Hakes was worried this holiday wouldn't happen for him.


"We fell on hard financial times this month, and I wasn't able to provide Thanksgiving for the family."


But Randy Sams changed that providing a meal they could only imagine.


"There are still people in this community that have core values and morals and this means something to them," said Hakes. "They understand that there are people out there on hard times."


The meal not only helped Hakes and his family, but it gave an entire community something to be thankful for this holiday season.


About 250 people were served at the meal (which officials say is fairly consistent with previous years).


More than 30 turkeys, 6 hams and four dozen desserts were served.

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