Free Thanksgiving dinners served in New Haven - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Free Thanksgiving dinners served in New Haven

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More than 500 people enjoyed a free Thanksgiving dinner at Christopher Martins Pub on Thursday. (WFSB) More than 500 people enjoyed a free Thanksgiving dinner at Christopher Martins Pub on Thursday. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A New Haven restaurant owner opened his doors to those in need to help give them a warm meal and coat on the holiday.

Families poured into Christopher Martin's Pub on State Street on Thursday for turkey and all the fixins.

Owner Chris Vigilante has hosted a three-course Thanksgiving Day dinner for the past 25 years. He even has a way to get people to the restaurant with the help of the city of New Haven.

“We go to shelters, people’s homes and park benches and transport folks here,” Vigilante said.

There were many familiar faces year after year. Many people waiting outside to come in.

“They’re my regular customers every year,” Vigilante said.  

Elena Myers traveled from New York City to volunteer. She’s on her seventh year.   

“We all have struggles, but we can always do something to help someone else,” Myers said.

Myers works at a Brooklyn Middle School. Her students made these placemats for the day.  

“There’s no better way to spend Thanksgiving and showing your appreciation,” Myers said. “You have to help those, who might not have a family, to share a warm meal with or a home to cook their own food.”

After dinner, shopping took place inside the pub area of the restaurant. Donations were taken for months. It’s a way to keep people warm for the winter season.

“The smiles on peoples’ faces when they come here and say ‘thank you and have a great thanksgiving,’” Vigilante said.  

There is no charge for the food or the clothing.

Vigilante said he expects more than 500 people for Thanksgiving Day dinner.

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