Local officials, celebrities and media personalities will don aprons Monday to serve at the 11th annual Italian Thanksgiving Feast.
The dinner, to be held at the Garlic Clove restaurant in Evans, this year raises funds for three area food pantries – Columbia County Cares, Golden Harvest Food Bank and Mosaic United Methodist Church’s Third Saturday Love Your Neighbor program.
Diners receive a meal from a set menu in return for a monetary donation to the food banks.
“They do a tremendous service,” event organizer and Columbia County Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker said. “For every dollar donated, they buy $7 in food. Look how far that this money can go to help people to be sure that they have happy holidays as well.”
The Italian-style meals are served by celebrity servers in shifts from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dine-in and take-out meals are available.
Calling orders in ahead of time and making a donation at pick-up is acceptable.
The restaurant’s new location at 4534 Washington Road in Evans allows for more diners, said owner Jeff Freehof.
“We’re going to hope to feed over 500, that’s our goal,” Freehof said. “We’re expecting to have our biggest year yet.”
The event record was set in 2007 with $6,125. It brought in $5,111 last year.
Freehof said 100 percent of what’s donated goes directly to the food banks. Proceeds will be split between the three food banks.
The menu includes antipasto salad, baked ziti with meat sauce, pasta alfredo, chicken parmesan, homemade bread and a drink. All diners get all of the menu items.
In addition to the Garlic Clove, sponsors for the event include Edible Arrangements, Allegra Printing and Imaging, Fehrman Investment Group, 1-Hour Optical, Super Saver Coupons, Richmond Supply Co., Master Buick GMC, Springtime Artesian Water and Columbia County.
Tucker said the casual atmosphere with dozens of local officials and personalities provides a good time to socialize.
“It’s a chance to meet and greet,” Tucker said.