Cinthia Rueda of Platinum One Realty and Carol Hampton of Heart N Soul Café will serve a Thanksgiving feast to needy families and the homeless outside their businesses at 807 and 809 Central Ave. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“This is all about giving back,” said Rueda who has witnessed firsthand the homeless living on the street around her business over the past five years.
“I see how many homeless people are down here, and they are looking for hot meal,” Rueda said. “I don’t think people realize downtown how many unfortunate people there are down here.”
“If I had my way, I’d open a hall to feed everybody,” Hampton said, “but I don’t have the money. My first year (downtown), and we will try to make it an annual thing. I’m excited because it’s giving back. If you’re in need of a meal, you’re welcomed to come.”
The two women started talking about the idea not too long ago. They said they saw the opportunity for a joint venture and approached a few other local businesses for food donations, many of whom obliged, including Safeway, Save Mart, Nations, Costco and Dolce Vita.
Working with their families and co-workers, the two women plan to serve turkeys, both oven-cooked and smoked, in addition to stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and pies. The meals will be served inside Heart N Soul, as well as outside the two storefronts.
“We’re expecting to feed 100 to 150 people,” Rueda said. “We’ll feed anybody who wants a hot meal.”
In addition to the food, Hampton said they’re also looking for donations of new socks and new-to-slightly used jackets that can also be distributed to the homeless.
Anyone wishing to make a donation can drop off the clothing at Platinum One Realty at 807 Central Ave., or Heart N Soul at 809 Central Ave.