What better way to help feed hungry families at Thanksgiving than to enjoy a nontraditional Italian feast?
Local officials, celebrities and media personalities will be serving guests at Columbia County’s 12th annual Italian Thanksgiving Feast on Tuesday at the Garlic Clove Italian Eatery in Evans.
Diners receive a meal from a set menu in return for a monetary donation for the food banks from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the restaurant at 4534 Washington Road in the Eagle Pointe shopping center.
The dinner raises funds for three area food pantries – Golden Harvest Food Bank, Good Neighbor Ministries and the Third Saturday Love Your Neighbor program at Mosaic United Methodist Church.
“A lot of people ask for donations for agencies like this,” county Emergency and Operations Division Director Pam Tucker said. “We’re going to give you the most wonderful hot meal for your donation. You can’t get that anywhere else. It’s a big treat.”
Another treat is that meals are served by area officials and celebrities, including county Administrator Scott Johnson, Sheriff Clay Whittle, Board of Education member Mike Sleeper, WGAC talk radio host Austin Rhodes, WRDW-TV news anchor Richard Rogers, radio personalities Minnesota Fatz and Cliff Bennett, WGAC News Director Mary Liz Nolan and News Times Publisher Steve Crawford.
We rally love it,’ said Garlic Clove Owner Jeff Freehoff. “We enjoy it. It’s just great fun.
“It feels like the community coming together, whether they are serving or whether they are eating and donating.”
The event record was set in 2007 with $6,125. It brought in about $4,000 last year, Tucker said. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted.
The menu includes antipasto salad, baked ziti with meat sauce, pasta alfredo, chicken parmesan, homemade bread and a drank. All diners receive all of the menu items.
Tucker said more than 400 diners were served last year and because of the celebrity staff, nobody had to wait.
“If you’re on your lunch hour and don’t think you’re going to get back on time, we’ll get you back on time,” Tucker said.
“That’s a promise.”