Businesses provide free holiday meal for people in area
Several families turned out to enjoy a warm holiday meal they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to enjoy on Christmas Day, thanks to area business owners.
Karen and Jimmy Meredith, owners of Sweetwater Grill & Tavern at 115 S. Elm St., decided this was the year they were going to teach their children and grandchildren the real spirit of the season. With talks only beginning a month ago, and with the help of other area businesses and community support, the Merediths were able to make this Christmas one to remember.
“We really wanted to be able to provide something nice, and what better way than to have a good-tasting, home-cooked meal?” said Karen Meredith while her husband was cooking up a storm in the kitchen. “We just really wanted to provide something that would give back to the community as a whole — something they could appreciate.”
Karen Meredith said the event — even though it was just a twinkle in their eyes less than four weeks ago — “completely snowballed.”
“We just had incredible support as soon as word got out on our intentions. Food, money and volunteers just started pouring in,” she said.
Too many to count, families, singles and homeless people started filling up all the dining rooms around lunchtime.
“We have had amazing help already from Beth Maries, Rudy’s, Jupiter House, Chestnut Tree and Ravelin Bakery — the list goes on. … I am very thankful for all the help,” Karen Meredith said.
Denton resident Tynicka Patrick, 28, came down to enjoy a meal with her friends.
“I have never seen hospitality like I have seen in Denton,” said Patrick while sipping on coffee and eating pie.
Patrick, who has been a resident of Denton for a little more than a year now, is amazed by the support of the community and willingness to help.
“I see faces here today that I have seen at the shelter and soup kitchen,” Patrick said.
While a warm dinner is nice, the Merediths have also helped a family of eight this year with food, gifts and bills.
“It’s part of our Angel [Tree program] family, and this is the second year we have done this,” said Karen Meredith.
Tommy Richardson, a Denton resident and good Samaritan, was able to deliver the items to the family of six children on Christmas Eve.
“I am glad to help,” Richardson said.
Karen Meredith, who said this was the first year of providing a meal, said it hopefully will not be the last.
“Our goal next year is to not only do this again but have it on a much larger scale with Main Street businesses all over town participating,” she said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.