West Point restaurants prepare meals for holiday giveaway

Published 8:30 am Thursday, November 24, 2022

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By: Charlotte Reames

As Thanksgiving day approaches, the city of West Point is preparing to provide a Thanksgiving meal to the community for the seventh year. Six West Point restaurants, including Johnny’s Pizza, are preparing Thanksgiving day meals to serve from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“As we’re giving thanks for our blessings, we’d like to pass on as many blessings as we can to people in our community. Without our community, we don’t exist,” said Johnny’s owner Ben Hamilton. “This is something for people that don’t have family to come into town or are unable to cook a Thanksgiving meal or just a family in need.”

Though Mayor Steve Tramell usually runs the program, Hamilton is organizing it this year. According to Tramell, this year the restaurants participating are Pokey’s, Coach’s, Sip Cafe, Roger’s BBQ, Chick Delite and Johnny’s Pizza. The sponsors of the event include M.W. Lee Mortuary, Refuge Point Church and The Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project.

“Johnny’s has always participated in it, as well as other local restaurants in town,” said Owner Ben Hamilton.

“We’ve had restaurants close and restaurants open, but every year we come together as a group and split it across the board.”

On Thursday, they will be making 200 meals. Johnny’s Pizza is cooking an oven-roasted turkey. Hamilton said that they spend the morning of Thanksgiving day cooking their dish.

“We do the meals actually on Thanksgiving morning, so we’re not open while we’re doing that. Otherwise, I don’t know if it would be possible,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said that the day is strictly voluntary for his employees. He announces the time that they need to show up and leaves it up to them. Every year, they have between 5 and 15 volunteers, who either help cook or serve and build the plates.

“We put a time out there so people show up around the clock in the morning to help us if they want to,” Hamilton said. “Every year we’d have anywhere from five to 15 volunteers show up.”

According to Hamilton, Pokey’s is making the sweet potatoes. Coaches Bar and Grill is making the dressing. Chick Delite is bringing the rolls. Roger’s BBQ is bringing the cranberry sauce and making the meal kits.