After the turkey is all gone, the last slice of the pumpkin pie has been served, for a while, most of us go back to our regular day to day lives until the next holiday event, but there are still neighbors in our community in need and that’s where one local chef is stepping in.
For the past eight years, Celebrity Chef April Thompson has been pounding the pavement, handing out meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving, but this year, she’s decided to do things a little differently, in every sense of the word.
“During the holidays is when everyone jumps in, to give the homeless meals,” she said.
But Thompson wanted to switch it up.
“When you go to the shelter they’ll have like repetitive meals, so much turkey, you know how we get sick of it too, so I figured I would wait until all the fanfare died down,” said Thompson.“I definitely applaud anyone who gives at any time, but when you just do it on the holiday, it’s like okay, what about those other days like they’re going to be hungry on Tuesday and Wednesday,” she said.
What’s also unique about her approach is the meal requests come specifically from the men and women who are going to be eating them.
“They’ll say like when are we getting seafood again or when are we getting cupcakes, or I stopped eating meat, so I just try to accommodate them,” she said.
Thompson said knowing what they want is a direct by-product from her non-profit Shoulder to Shoulder being so connected in the community.
They serve weekly meals to the homeless all over the Cleveland area, giving her the chance to dish out a good meal and conversation.
“If I’ve gotten to see my regulars I’m happy,” said Thompson.
She said helping others out is just one of those things that fill her cup.
“That’s something like a hug. For somebody that they took the time to make you a special meal, to make something warm on a cold day, that’s better than a hug sometimes,” she said.
Thompson and her volunteers will be out Wednesday and Thursday serving up meals.
The organization is always accepting donations. If you’d like to donate, click here.