Bar 209, Bemidji United Way Busy Prepping Thanksgiving Meals for Community
This week, volunteers in Bemidji were working hard to create special Thanksgiving meals to go.
Bar 209 and the United Way of Bemidji Area have been preparing meals for families in the community for the last eight years. These meals are made to serve eight people per family, and on Thanksgiving Day, the volunteers who help prepare these meals then get to deliver them to the selected families right before the start of Thanksgiving dinner.
“We created this just because there’s a need in our community here, and we thought we can – we have the ability to do it, so we teamed up with Lueken’s [Village Foods] and now with the United Way to really serve the people that we can,” said Bar 209 co-owner Derek Leach.
“The United Way worked with our local nonprofits to have them nominate families who need this for the year,” said Denae Alamano, executive director for the United Way of Bemidji Area. “They have direct clients and people in our community who are going through a hard time that this meal can be a blessing to them.”
“From the volunteer standpoint, we’ve got a lot of great people that have done it for a few years in a row, so they are a huge help,” said Bar 209 co-owner Brett Leach. “It’s the logistics of, how do you cook 100 turkeys? And it’s really, really challenging. We have a monster oven, but we still have to rotate it through. So it’s three full days of just baking the turkeys.”
The owners of Bar 209 said they hope to expand and be able to feed more families in the years to come.