OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - Thanksgiving is just a week away. As menus are being planned and cooks go shopping, two local restaurant owners are preparing to feed more than their families. They're putting together a feast for almost a thousand.
The free dinner is for anyone and everyone who's hungry. The restaurant owners say it's their way of giving back to the community that keeps them in business.
"We're going to try to feed 900 people," says Tom Lochamy. He's trading BBQ and ribs for turkey and ham next week.
"We're going to cook 40 turkeys and 40 hams. Homemade dressing, green beans, turnip greens, corn and candied yams." Lochamy's Bar-B-Que Pit is teaming up with another Olive Branch restaurant, Italia East.
"We're going to be baking," says Mark Kobuszewski.
"Making their famous homemade rolls for us," says Lochamy.
"Whoever is in need and would like some meals we're going to have them," Kobuszewski adds.
Lochamy once spent the holiday by himself and doesn't want anyone to do that this year.
"I remember when I was up here and didn't have anywhere to go. I said it would be nice not just feed the needy, but feed people who are by themselves. They can become a part of our family."
Diners can eat in his restaurant off Goodman Road, or pick up plates to go.
"Give us a call. We'd be more than glad to fix them if they can deliver them," he tells abc24.com.
"The important thing is making sure somebody will have a good hot meal," Kobuszewski adds.
"We're going to start at 11 Thanksgiving Day and run until we go out."
The feast costs the restaurants about $4,000. Several businesses have donated money and food. They still need drinks and desserts.
If you'd like to pitch in you can call Lochamy at 662-890-3748.