It's that time of year again, and Morgan Mill has sent out its gracious Thanksgiving call to officials, business leaders, Tarleton State University students, administrators and professors, farmers and ranchers, Fort Hood soldiers and representatives from across the county.

In the early days, roughly 150 guests turned out for the feast. But in the last few years, an estimated 800 plates have been dished up to guests seated at tables in the Morgan Mill gym.

The event is a community wide effort with teams of Morgan Mill residents pitching in to help in the luncheon.

Seventh and eighth grade principal, Shirley Couch, explained the extent of involvement shared among students and faculty alike.

"We are trying to teach community involvement and responsibility to our students,” she said. “Our seventh and eighth graders clean, set up, and serve. Our younger kids do all of the decorations, and all the kids write special thank you notes to our soldiers who come from Fort Hood.”

Faculty are among those who ensure the elderly and shut-ins don't miss out on the feast.

"We also provide for the elderly delivery to their homes,” she said. “Our teachers and some students take meals to them.”

Tarleton education students lend a hand as well, covering classes for teachers involved with facilitating the festivities.

Couch gives credit to Morgan Mill residents for shouldering the costs of the event.

"We have lots of community members who give money for the lunch,” she said. “No tax money is used. It's all done through donations.”

This year's feast will take place Friday, beginning at 11 a.m. and will end at a tentatively scheduled 1 p.m.

"If anyone is in line waiting for a meal, we will not shut the door just because it is 1 o'clock,” Couch assured.