By Dean Shipley
About 234 people were fed on Thanksgiving Day in London, thanks to a local restaurateur with a group of helpers.
Angie Roberts Harris, owner of Phat Daddy’s restaurant on East First Street, orchestrated the restaurant’s fourth annual Thanksgiving Day dinner for people who may have had no other option for a holiday hot meal. Harris and her team served and delivered the dinner.
Harris said the posting of fliers around the city and on church bulletin boards apparently conveyed the message as the number of meals jumped by 44 meals — about 23 percent.
When asked why the increase, Harris replied, “We got the word out to the right people.”
Of those meals, 140 were delivered by five, two-person teams, who drove as far as South Charleston and West Jefferson to deliver the food. She described the recipients as “mostly older,” but said anyone who called in could receive dinner. She doesn’t screen or discriminate.
Those who received the meal received a veritable cornucopia of delectable delights: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, with gravy and other vegetables and pie. KFC and Bob Evans donated rolls and biscuits.
Harris said preparing the 11 turkeys — weighing between 15 and 22 pounds — had to begin a few days ahead of Thanksgiving. Side dishes were begun at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Despite the increase in the number of meals served, Harris said she was happy “we didn’t run out of food.” In fact, one man who had been served on Thursday returned on Saturday to inquire about leftovers. Harris sent him on his way with a container full of turkey and a piece of pie.
“He was happy and went on his way,” she said.
So was she as the container went down the road with the diner. It freed up space for more storage.
Harris began the meal in 2012 when a local church, which had been serving it, no longer continued. Her friend, Anna Bingman, suggested since Harris had the facility, she could prepare it with help.
Though it’s a long day and exhausting, she said it feels good to do something for somebody.
Make that 234 somebodies.
Reach Dean Shipley at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, or on Twitter @DeanAShipley.
Donors to Phat Daddy’s Pizza Thanksgiving Dinner
Bob Evans Restaurant
London KFC Restaurant
Tommy & Yvette Wilson
Chandler Lodge No. 138 F & A M
Katherine and Noel
Kellie Portman & Family
Fr. Reidy Council No. 1786 Knights of Columbus
Mr. and Mrs. Vickers
Varsity Dinner Club
The Vineyard Church
56 Auto Sales
Mr. and Mrs. Bell
Anonymous donors and volunteers