Have Turkey, Will Travel
Thanksgiving meals delivered to hundreds
Mike Glenn has a lot to be thankful for.
He recently moved into an apartment after four years of homelessness. He enjoyed a pre-Thanksgiving meal in his new abode on Wednesday, Nov. 27, courtesy of Noble’s Grille.
The swank eatery prepared more than 400 meals for local residents in need of them. The food was transported from Noble’s Knollwood Street building to several nonprofits, including the United Way’s Forsyth Rapid Rehousing Collaborative, which provided Glenn with his hearty meal. The Collaborative is a federally-funded United Way-based program that helps homeless veterans, families and individuals like Gleen attain housing.
“I’m going to go home and eat and take some and put it in freezer or put in the refrigerator, have some for tomorrow and the next day,” said Glenn, who is unemployed and still relies on food banks.
Each meal included turkey donated by Bojangles, gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Noble’s Head Chef John Bobby and his kitchen staff prepared the 56 turkeys and numerous sides over a two day period.
“You try to think of ways you can help but when this opportunity is given to you, it lets everybody in this restaurant be a part of it, whether they realize it or not,” said Bobby.
Noble’s Grille is one of four restaurants owned by pastor and chef Jim Noble. Rooster’s at Southpark, Rooster’s Uptown and King’s Kitchen are in Charlotte are the others. The latter of the eateries is a nonprofit restaurant that trains the unemployed in food preparation.
The holiday food distribution carries on a tradition that started more than a decade ago at Noble’s first restaurant – a now defunct spot in High Point – where those in need were provided with a hot meal at Thanksgiving.
“We just wanted to give back to the community,” said John Fulp, managing partner for Noble’s Grill. “We’ve been so fortunate in everything we’ve done, to be able to give back is a great thing.”
All of Noble’s eateries prepared free holiday meals last week that were distributed to nonprofits, except King’s Kitchen, which actually opened Thanksgiving Day to feed the homeless. All together, the restaurants fed approximately 3,000 people.
The 120 meals delivered to the United Way were split among the Collaborative and other small agencies – a local domestic violence shelter, a program for homeless veterans and Project HOPE, a Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools program that provides services to homeless students and their families.
Project HOPE’s Homeless Liaison Melissa Ledbetter and social worker Lydia Johnson picked up about 50 meals that they personally delivered to client families. The program regularly feeds its clients with donated food on Thanksgiving Day. Since students are out for the holiday, homeless families often struggle to feed their children, who would normally eat at school. Johnson said the families were grateful for the meals.
“I’ve had quite a few families that did not truly know where their meal was coming from, so when we called, they were grateful,” she said.
Hundreds of other meals were delivered to the Salvation Army, the YWCA Hawley House, Prodigals Community, The Fellowship Home, Family Services and Experiment in Self Reliance.
Volunteers Amy Ruth and N.C Rep. Ed Hanes delivered the food to Rapid Rehousing Collaborative. Ruth, who owns a UPS Store next door to Noble’s, said she was happy to use her UPS truck to deliver meals.
“It warms the heart and the soul,” said Ruth, whose store donates printing services to local teachers and her employees give 500 paid volunteer hours a year to local charities.