A group of students and restaurant staff are making sure community members do not go without a meal this Thanksgiving.
The event started after Rachel Honard went on a mission trip where she helped out in food kitchens. From there, she knew this was something she could bring back to Erie, thus using her parents’ restaurant and creating the Thanksgiving tradition.
As many host socially distant Thanksgiving dinners, the Mercyhurst Prep family and Calamari’s giving back to the community.
“I like to get up on Thanksgiving and make sure these people have a meal. I know I’ll have a meal later so they should have one as well.” said Alexander Stefanovski, a student at Mercyhurst Prep.
One lady saying this helping hand is something she and her mother needed, adding they’re very thankful.
“We didn’t know where the Thanksgiving turkey was going to come from this year. I didn’t have money for a turkey and my mom didn’t have money for a turkey.” said Michelle Cobb.
From the students to the parents, all are saying this is how they’d want to spend their Thanksgiving Day.
The 11th year of the event comes with a renaming, the “Father Mike Allison’s Thanksgiving Community Dinner.” to honor the fallen man who help to bring the event to life.
“Father Mike, being instrumental, really was a driving force behind making sure this happened.” said Ed Curtin, President of Mercyhurst Prep.
Following his passing this summer, Rachel Honard, who came up with the idea for the dinner, says this event embodies who Father Allison was.
“Everything he’s done for Mercyhurst Prep and for the community. There’s no better way to give back to others. this is what he instilled in the student body at Mercyhurst Prep.” Honard said.
Honard adding the chance to give back to the community during a time of need is something we should all be doing.
“That’s what Thanksgiving is about, it’s about everyone coming together. Whether its the restaurant industry, whether its the student body at Mercyhurst Prep, all of the donations that came in. To help others out in a time of need like we’re in now with the pandemic.” Honard said.
Preparations for the massive to go dinner started on Tuesday. Around 1,500 meals have been made.