By Travis Fedschun, ,
Published November 23, 2017
The Houston furniture store owner who opened up his businesses as shelters after Hurricane Harvey flooded the city is preparing to give back once again on Thanksgiving.
Jim McIngvale — a Houston icon known as "Mattress Mack" and owner of Gallery Furniture — is opening one of his stores for a feast that starts Thursday at 10 a.m. CT.
"We think by having this Thanksgiving feast we can bring some more joy to people of Houston," McIngvale told "FOX & friends" on Thursday.
McIngvale said he expects anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people to show up, but has enough food to feed 20,000 Houstonians.
His feast will include over 2,400 pounds of turkey, 2,400 pounds of ham and plenty of traditional sides, according to FOX 26. In case anyone doesn't have an appetite for the typical Thanksgiving meal, he's also planning to have food trucks in the store parking lot in case anyone wants a slice of pizza instead.
When Hurricane Harvey dumped record amounts of rain on Houston, McIngvale opened his Houston stores and welcome hundreds of residents displaced from their flooded homes.
He told "FOX & friends" on Thursday his idea to sponsor a Thanksgiving feast came from what he witnessed during that experience, which he called "one of the great times of our lives" since he was able to service so many people alongside his employees.
"The best time of the day was when they all had dinner together," he said.
There are signs of progress in the nation's fourth-largest city, as blocks that had piles of debris on every front lawn are being cleared. Work crews are in neighborhoods all over the city, and nonprofit groups have distributed hundreds of millions in aid.
But more than 47,000 people across Texas are still staying in hotels with vouchers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Others are staying with family members or have left Southeast Texas altogether, abandoning mortgages on homes that were wrecked by floodwaters.
McIngvale said people in Texas are "tremendous and resilient," but some communities are "still in the rebuilding process." He had just one requirement for anyone who wants to show up on Thursday.
"The one requirement for anyone to come out to the Gallery Furniture feast today is you got to have a good appetite cause lots of great food that's going to be there today," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.