Bemidji’s Bar 209 Making, Delivering Thanksgiving Meals for Families in Need
The holiday season is often associated with goodwill, togetherness, and compassion throughout a community, and it’s these values that Bar 209’s annual Thanksgiving meal provides as they deliver meals to families in the Bemidji area.
“We produce meals for 800 people, everything that you would traditionally see on your Thanksgiving dinner table,” said Bar 209 co-owner Derek Leach. “It’s a really great spread that we serve for everyone.”
“This was a thing that we thought would be really great because the family could stay together, they could stay home,” explained Bar 209 co-owner Brett Leach, “and they would essentially get a chance to feed their family, and have the food that they need but do it in a way that’s a little bit more traditional to a lot of the other families, you know, throughout our nation.”
Originally, Bar 209 food delivery was done completely in-house, but now the service is being assisted by volunteers from the United Way of Bemidji Area.
“Everyone here is always so energetic and ready to go,” said Derek. “They just give it so much more than you typically would expect, especially for volunteering; they’re getting nothing back but a good feeling, which is pretty cool.”
“Really, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about,” explained volunteer Mya Beaulieu. “We’re grateful that the 209 is willing to host this event in their facility and use all of their ovens and their space, so that we can gather together and put this together and get it out.”
At its core, Bar 209’s food pack hopes to give back to the community, one Thanksgiving meal at a time.
“The pride comes when you deliver the meals,” said Derek. “It’s just one of those teary-eyed moments where you just feel really good that you could do something for someone else that they didn’t expect and you just did it out of the goodness of your heart.”
Deliveries for this meal, as well as Bemidji’s Annual Community Holiday Meal, will begin tomorrow just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.