ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Sunrise Café in Ashland City opened on Thanksgiving to host free meals for people without a place to spend the holiday.
The restaurant also delivered hundreds of meals to the sick and shut-in with the help of volunteers.
Although, the Sunrise Café is probably the only open restaurant in town, the Thanksgiving meal is about making people feel loved, not making money.
“I love doing this because we cater to the people who are alone,” Sunrise Café owner Candice Beasley said. “They have family who live out in Washington and California and up north and an airline ticket is expensive.”
Three-years ago Beasley started making packets of food along with her husband and children to give to the homeless.
That grew and when she opened her restaurant at 202 North Main Street, the event grew even more.
“Once I got this place about two months after I opened I realized I can feed a lot of people here because now I have got the means to do it,” she said.
The Thanksgiving dinner has a couple of parts.
There is a dinner hosted in the restaurant for anyone who wants to come in and eat.
There is also close to 300 to-go plates that are made and then delivered by volunteers to nursing homes and others who are unable to leave their homes.
Volunteers are made of neighbors, Cheatham County Sheriff’s Deputies and Ashland City Police officers.
“What a great community we have of people who truly care about each other not just during the holidays but year round,” Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said. “You see the best in what people who do have share with people who don’t have.”
This was also the first year the sheriff’s office delivered hundreds of meals to families in need around the county.
The department hopes to make its meal delivery and annual event as well.
Beasley told News 2 that after the event is over she always has the same hope for the people who either ate in the restaurant or had a meal delivered to them.
“I hope they have made a friend,” she said. “I hope they know they are welcome here anytime.”
The Sunrise Café has a similar dinner for Christmas, but it also includes a coat drive.
You can donate coats, blankets and newly bought toiletries at the restaurant located at 202 North Main Street in Ashland City.