GREENSBORO, N.C. — While most people spend Christmas home from work with their families, one group of volunteers in Greensboro is using their holiday to feed the hungry.
Anna Frieburg, owner of Bender’s Tavern on West Market Street, organized 120 volunteers to help feed the needy this Christmas.
“As they come in, we run low on food- we just keep on cookin!” laughed Frieburg.
A few volunteers started cooking turkeys at midnight and most arrived around 5am to start making beans, bread and mashed potatoes.
Some boxes are packed up and delivered to people in need; others are served family-style to anyone who stops in for a hot meal.
Donations cover the cost of food.
Local businesses donate the to-go boxes, toys, clothes and shuttles to transport people from Greensboro shelters.
Denise Gilmore came in for a meal and said it was just nice to have other people to sit and eat with for the holiday.
“I wasn’t able to make it home this year,” she added. “So this year, this is family.”
Anna and her volunteers cook over 1,500 pound of turkey and 96 giant cans of green beans.
“In light of everything that’s happened the past couple of weeks with Connecticut and everything else, I think people really want to make sure that no one goes without.,” she pointed out.
Anna’s parents started the Christmas meal in the early 1980’s when they owned a Ham’s restaurant.
Eventually, the tradition was passed on to her at Bender’s Tavern.
Jeff Brubaker and his daughter Matty say volunteering at this event has become their family’s tradition for more than a decade.
“I love doing this!” exclaimed Matty.
“I’ve always loved doing this on Christmas day. It’s one of my favorite things to do during the holiday just to help give back a little bit.”
“No one should go hungry on Christmas,” Jeff added.
“Instead of getting wrapped up in what we’re getting, it’s about what we can do for somebody else.”
Volunteers also deliver meals to fire and police stations, and to anyone who calls and needs food.
“We’re enjoying ourselves, we’re eating and getting gifts. And we’re praying. I just thank the Lord for letting me see another Christmas,” said Denise with a smile. “Thank you.”
They said good food and family, helping others in need, all encompass the true meaning of Christmas.