Volunteers served up Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of people, including many disadvantaged, Thursday at New Creation Church in Banning.
The meals helped feed church members and low-income residents from Cabazon, Banning and Beaumont, some who arrived by church bus to bring them to New Creation on West Ramsey Street.
"Last year we had 500 plates and we went through the 500 plates," Juan De La Fuente, communications pastor for New Creation, said just after noon Nov. 22 as people lined up for meals.
"We've got 600, we added a hundred more this year, so that way we don't run out," De La Fuente said. "We're also doing to-go boxes, which we didn't do last year."
De La Fuente said he expected about 100 to 150 church volunteers would take part in the day's activities, which started with set-up at 9 a.m. and was expected to end around 2 p.m.
"Our way of giving thanks is to Jesus obviously, and we do it by helping our community," De La Fuente said. "I know that the volunteers are thankful to be able to be out and help. That's what it is."
Senior Pastor Ken Spicer of New Creation was on the bus to help bring homeless and disadvantaged people throughout the San Gorgonio Pass area, De La Fuente said.
"There's needy people wherever you go," De La Fuente said. "Even in the richest communities there are still people in need. It's not necessarily all homeless, it's people who just need a little help."
At the same time meals were being served, volunteers with the New Creation outreach program called The Difference were giving out coats and blankets Thursday. They also provided vouchers that can be exchanged for clothing and small household items, Difference coordinator Jilana Dunaway said.
The Difference program is based in Beaumont, Dunaway said.
New Creation Church has campuses in Beaumont, Banning and Yucca Valley.
For more information about New Creation, visit www.newcreationca.org or call (951) 922-2471.