A single father of five picked up free meals at Nana’s Southern Kitchen on Christmas Day because he didn’t know what else he was going to do to feed the kids.
Other people picked up meals for neighbors who were unable to get to one of the restaurants in Kent or Covington.
Several homeless people took dinners back to their homeless camps.
“It was a beautiful event,” said Todd Minor, of Kent, owner of the restaurants, in a phone interview. “It’s based on giving back to the community. It’s a meaningful deposit to the community not just a withdrawal.”
About 650 dinners were distributed at the location on Kent’s East Hill and another 550 at the Covington restaurant, Minor said. People walked up or drove up to get the packaged dinners.
Thirty volunteers helped give out the dinners at 10234 SE 256th St., in Kent and at 27149 185th Ave. SE in Covington, which just opened earlier this year. Nana’s gave out 400 meals on Christmas last year at its Kent site.
“We had great support from the local communities in both areas,” Minor said.
Nana’s Southern Kitchen serves Southern staples, from a fixed menu, including main dishes of fried chicken, catfish, fried shrimp and pork chops with sides of potato salad, green beans, mustard or collard greens, cabbage, candied yams and macaroni and cheese.
Minor received support from Microsoft executives and employees as well as former NBA player Jamal Crawford, who was raised in Seattle, to help pay for the meals. Microsoft vice presidents Judson Althoff, Amy Hood, Dametra Johnson-Marletti and Alex Cook led the donation efforts this year, giving more than 100 meals each.
Minor said he certainly appreciated the large donations but he also came away impressed with the many donations of meals this year from numerous individuals.
“It was everyday people who gave donations of one or two meals,” Minor said.