Vernon restaurant owner gives out free meals for Thanksgiving after community rallied around him

A soul food Restaurant in Vernon continues their holiday tradition of handing out free, hot meals.
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 5:34 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 6:54 PM EST
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VERNON, Conn. (WFSB) - Giving back and giving thanks.

A soul food Restaurant in Vernon continues their holiday tradition of handing out free, hot meals.

Craig’s Kitchen has been a staple in Vernon for 5 years.

“We serve authentic soul food,” says owner Craig Wright.

For Wright, the holiday is not just a time to give thanks, but to give back.

In 2017, someone broke into his restaurant and stole his cash register. The community rallied around him then.

“They actually formed a FB group and it was a craig’s kitchen day kind of thing where they decided to have a bunch of people come down to the restaurant on one day,” says Wright.

All of the money went toward a security system.

“Like I say all the time, it’s amazing how complete strangers can go out their way and just do amazing things,” says Wright.

Now it’s Craig’s turn to do something amazing.

Ever since that break-in, every thanksgiving, Craig cooks free hot meals for anyone who wants to stop by.

“We own a small farm in Coventry, fell on hard times. She had a bout with breast cancer last year. Been a hard time,” says Jeff. “Oh it’s a blessing. I mean we’re a small community, Rockville is a real small community, there’s a lot of homeless in this town and craig does a lot for the community, so we continue to support him.”

Craig says he’s just grateful he gets to pay it forward, because years ago, he never imagined he’d be here today.

“Growing up I was a knucklehead, just basically made the wrong decisions. Ended up in prison a few times and the last time I got in trouble, I decided it was enough for me and I got out and just focused on working as hard as I could. That was 9 years ago,” says Wright.

The community is just as grateful to have him here.

“Thank you very much for everything you’ve guys done. God bless,” says Eric of Rockville, who said this was his second year stopping by.

A soul food Restaurant in Vernon continues their holiday tradition of handing out free, hot meals.