Organizers are expecting about 600 people to sit down Thursday for the annual community Thanksgiving dinner at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall, 2350 E. Eighth Street.

The meal, which is free with the option of a donation, is served from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Volunteers, including the Hays High School football team, helped set up the tables and chairs on Tuesday, and more will be out in force on Thursday to direct parking, greet and seat guests, serve meals and clean up.

Also, volunteers are delivering meals during the lunch hour to about 82 households, with one or more meals going to each address.

The annual feast is hosted by the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance.

At meal's end, anyone who needs can take a free grocery bag of dry and canned food. There are about 200 bags of groceries available, organizers said.