13 Bones restaurant is partnering with Mount Airy Meat Center for the third year to serve those who may not be fortunate enough to have a Thanksgiving dinner.
Andy Reece, one of the owners of 13 Bones, and Gray Gwyn, owner of Mount Airy Meat Center, said they spend a couple thousand dollars putting on the meal each year, but it’s something that is close to their hearts. Reece said in years past, the effort has feed 1,300 people. This year tickets have been given out through school backpack programs, hospice and social services to those who might not have a Thanksgiving dinner this year. This year organizers are hoping to feed at least 1,500 people.
“We are trying to give back because we are thankful for our business,” Reece said. “I know there are a lot of people out there that don’t have meals and can’t afford to eat,” said Reece.
Reece said he and Gwyn start carving the ham on Wednesday night. Then on Thanksgiving morning, the pair and volunteers will arrive at 4:30 in the morning to start cooking Thanksgiving meals that will be ham, greens beans, mashed potatoes, a roll and a dessert. Reece said at least 50 volunteers came out to help fix the to-go plates and deliver meals last year. He said local churches typically bake all of the desserts for the effort.
Reece said the other owners of 13 Bones, Johnny Newman, Ellie Needham, Angie Venable and Freddy Hudson also help out every year. Reece said those with tickets can start picking up meals at the restaurant at 11 a.m. He said there are distribution points throughout the county at various Ruritan clubs.
He said anyone that wants to come out and help are welcome to do so.
Reece and Gwyn said they will finish up around 4 p.m., which allows them to have Thanksgiving dinner with their families.
Gwyn said the meal has grown every year. Gwyn said Reece puts the meal together, which makes it easy to assemble the meals as they go out.
Gwyn said he expects a lot of volunteers to come out to help that day including his employees, 13 Bones employees, and members of the church he attends, Mount Airy Christian Church, have also signed up to help. He said he believes the need for a hot meal on Thanksgiving has grown even more this year.
“It’s surprising how many people show up for it,” said Gwyn. “It’s a good opportunity for me to do something good. It’s fairly easy for someone to come work a couple of hours. It makes them feel good.”
Contact Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.