It's a family tradition.

But this family is not your typical one, it includes hundreds of individuals. Some live just down the street and others are simply passing through and stopping in for a holiday feast and fellowship.

Larry and Judy Higgins, owners of Hammond's Bar-B-Q, have watched the family feast grow exponentially over the last 14 years. 

Those who gather are treated to turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, pie, cobbler, cheesecake and cookies. 

The meal is served 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

“When we first started doing this, we had 40 or 50 people,” Larry recalled. “It just kept growing from there.”

For Larry and Judy, a few employees and family members who prepare and serve the Thanksgiving Day meal, the work has also increased over the years.

"Other families are doing the work at home, feeding their families, but we decided why do it at home when we can do it in a place that can provide for more than just our own."

In 2010, a record 340 diners were served and $2,386 in donations, which are not solicited or required, were collected from guests. Last year, that number jumped to 532 served and $3,600 raised.

Every penny raised is donated to the Somervell County Food Bank. The feast is funded by the Higgnins and a few anonymous donors who insist on helping with the bill.

"This year we are planning to serve 600," Larry said. "This started to provide a place for people who had nowhere to go on Thanksgiving. A hot, traditional meal for those who could not afford it. Then we decided to invite everyone, why single out those in need?"

Over the years, those people have touched the Higgins family in many ways. There was the woman with two small children, praying over the meal, "Thank you, Lord, for a place to eat."

And the woman, driving a car that barely made it from her home in Alvarado. She almost missed the meal, but had called ahead. Larry made sure she got a plate and she gave back everything she could afford - less than three quarters.

Then there are other regulars who come in, grab a meal and their usual table, snap a photo to mark the annual trip, drop $100 in the donation bucket and hit the road.

"It's amazing," Larry said. "The people we serve may come for different reasons, but for the time they're here, they are part of something much bigger than their need or what they can give. And we’re just thankful we can do this.”