Golden Corral Zee To Serve 20,000 Meals Thanksgiving Day
Eric Holm knows what it's like to get a Thanksgiving meal from the Salvation Army. He recalls the experience while growing up in a single-parent family and working to help support his mother as a busboy in a restaurant where she was a waitress. Now a successful multi-unit franchise operator with 32 Golden Corrals, Holm serves free meals to others on Thanksgiving Day. He's done it for 23 consecutive years as part of the annual "Helpings from the Heart" program. The event is expected to serve more than 20,000 meals to deserving residents in Central Florida on Thanksgiving Day.
"Golden Corral takes great pride in feeding the community every day of the year in its restaurants, and we see Thanksgiving as a way of helping Central Florida by providing for those in need," says Holm. "Each year I am humbled by the opportunity to serve others a Thanksgiving meal much in the way my family enjoyed a holiday meal when I grew up."
The dinner is a joint venture between Holm and area nonprofit organizations, corporations and local businesses, including The Salvation Army, Smokey Bones, Cheney Brothers, Pepsi, MBM, Harvill's, Bubbalou's, Puff n Stuff, Universal and the Orange County Sheriff's Office, which provides protection for all guests and volunteers. More than 1,100 Salvation Army volunteers will arrive throughout the day to assist with serving the meal this year.
"The Helpings from the Heart event takes a lot of preparation, but it is something we take a lot of pride in each year," says Jason Gronlund, Executive Chef, Vice President of Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill and Helpings from the Heart. "Putting together this event is a team effort, and we look forward to providing a great meal for a lot of deserving people."
Gronlund and his staff will prepare more than 3,000 pounds of turkey and 3,000 pounds of ham along with plenty of mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, corn, pie, fruit and beverages. Meals are also available for carry-out or will be picked up and delivered to nursing homes, shut-ins, local churches and other facilities throughout the Orlando area.
"The Salvation Army is proud to partner with Golden Corral to serve up one of the largest Thanksgiving meals in the nation," says Major Mark Woodcock of The Salvation Army, Orlando Area Command. "On this national day of Thanksgiving, over 1,000 volunteers will assemble at The Salvation Army in Orlando to serve good food, love and compassion to make this a true day of Thanksgiving."
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