Downtown Memphis restaurant finds safer ways to give back on Thanksgiving

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Every year for more than a decade, Westy’s Restaurant in downtown Memphis has done their part to feed those in need during the holidays.

But this Thanksgiving, participants of the annual free Thanksgiving dinner had to find new ways to feed the needy while staying safe.

With their masks and hand sanitizer ready and their tents in place, volunteers for Westy’s Restaurant Annual Thanksgiving Dinner were ready to serve their community.

“If there ever is a year to do it, this is the year,” said Westy’s Restaurant owner Jack Schorr.

Steve Herrington with Lindenwood Christian Church says he’s been a part of the dinner every year as the chief gravy and dressing maker.

“I’m making dressing as fast as I can make it,” Herrington said.

He says due to the pandemic, they decided to serve the dinner outside where those looking for food could grab their meals and go.

“We’re moving people faster than when we were inside,” Herrington said.

Schorr says at first, he wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to continue the tradition. But after numerous requests from volunteers, he worked with Lindenwood Christian Church and Operation BBQ Relief to find safe ways to carry out the dinner.

Westy’s owner says even though his business has been hit hard due to the pandemic, he and well as many others still wanted to be a positive light for others in the community.

“This is the time of the year where a lot of people need more positive input to their life and that’s part of what we’re doing,” Schorr said. “There’s no reason to stop. Just reasons to be safer.”

Organizers say they anticipated serving more than 1,000 meals.

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