CANADENSIS, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – AAA estimates more than 54 million Americans will be traveling for Thanksgiving. But, there are many people who don’t have a place to spend the holiday.
In Monroe County alone, there are at least thirteen businesses and organizations serving free Thanksgiving meals for anyone whose lonely or financially strapped. Some meals have already started.
Chef Mike Abate has only a few hours to prepare his five-course meals.
“It’s never just food, it’s always about love. People gather in the kitchen because that’s where love is shared,” explains Chef Mike Abate, Pocono Supper Club.
He partnered with Magnolia Streamside Resort in Canadensis to offer a free Thanksgiving dinner for 40 people Tuesday night.
“It’s been our dream to welcome people for Thanksgiving, and only when we purchased this resort did we have the opportunity to open our doors,” says Inna Vityuk, co-owner, Magnolia Streamside Resort.
The resort is giving, while also receiving.
Community members unexpectedly dropped off turkeys, produce, and desserts for the dinner.
“You know, they say ‘give and it keeps on giving’. It’s just so inspirational to see how this inspired other people to also give,” Vityuk smiles.
Magnolia Streamside Resort is not the only place where you can sit down and get a free Thanksgiving meal.
A local chiropractor and his team are at the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army cooking for the less fortunate.
“There’s people that do not have any homes. They live in their cars and it’s freezing out, and they don’t have the opportunities that we have,” remarks Dr. Brettney Ramsour, AlignLife Chiropractic & Natural Health Center.
Rafael Chiclana was homeless for ten years.
“It’s not easy, man. You don’t know where you’re gunna go or how you’re gunna get money,” Rafael Chiclana of Stroudsburg recalls.
But today he has a table of turkey and good company. He adds, “oh, I’m very thankful. I thank God for it and everyone who made it.”