Burlington restaurant serves up free Thanksgiving dinner

Published: Nov. 28, 2019 at 3:13 PM EST
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As many of you spent time at home with friends and family for Thanksgiving, a Burlington restaurant continued its tradition of opening its doors to anyone who wanted a meal and company. Our Ike Bendavid takes you inside Sweetwaters.

The day started with a coat drive at Sweetwaters, then at 10 a.m., the doors opened and it was time to eat.

It's a day that reminds you of what you should be grateful for in life," said David Melincof of Sweetwaters.

For 29 years, Sweetwaters in Burlington has hosted a free Thanksgiving so that no one spends the holiday hungry. The eatery serves 1,500 pounds of turkey along with hundreds of pounds of other favorite sides. No one is turned away.

"It's open to everyone," Melincof said.

Helping are 150 volunteers and donations of food.

"It's a community event we couldn't pull it off without all of the volunteers," Melincof said.

And people are thankful.

"The food is excellent, the people are great," said Charles Whittmore of Burlington.

Whittmore says this gave him a chance to sit down with friends and enjoy a meal.

"I have fallen on some hard times, so I didn't have a place to go this year and I wasn't really looking forward to the day," he said, "but once I walked in, my whole attitude changed."

And he wasn't alone.

"No family around," said John Stockwell of Burlington. "It's good to get a Thanksgiving dinner."

"Well, it's Thanksgiving and it's a good place to have a good meal," said Robert Harris of Burlington.

Melincof says Sweetwaters plans to continue the tradition next year, in 2020, with their 30th community meal.