On Thanksgiving Monday, Grimsby’s The Forty Public House hosted its first free holiday dinner. Due to an overwhelming response from the community, it will now be an annual tradition.
Anyone who walked into The Forty yesterday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. could get a free Thanksgiving meal on the house, no questions asked. This will now be a new Thanksgiving policy moving forward.
The iconic high-street pub provided as many as 40 meals this year to those in need. The event’s turnout demonstrated that there is a definite demand in the community for a place to go to get a warm holiday meal.
“We have started a new tradition we can be proud of, with the support of the community,” said Forty Pub owner Mark Wood.
The initiative was inspired by longtime pub patron Gary Edmonds. He asked Wood if the restaurant was doing anything charitable for families in need this year. (Read the full backstory here.)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had serious economic impacts. Local charities say that it has been a more difficult year than usual for most people in West Niagara. Wood agreed with Edmonds that something needed to be done.
The two decided to plan the event with little notice, still that wasn’t a problem. With the tremendous support they received from the community, they pulled off a complex affair in a very short time.
The restaurant received such an overflow of donations that they’ll be putting them towards a future cause. “We had a surplus of donations and wish to continue a new fund we can use for multiple local support events,” said Wood.
Wood is not sure how the next event might look yet or when it will be held. “We need time to solidify plans,” he said. He promised to keep Niagara Info and its readers informed.