Fenton restaurant serves up plates of generosity to community

Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 12:25 PM EST
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FENTON, Mich. (WJRT) - It’s a busy day inside The Barn in Fenton. The bar/restaurant is shut down for dine-in service because of COVID-19 -- but not people’s spirits volunteering -- making sure people all across Genesee County have a warm Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings today.

“The turkeys and the hams -- the people that donated them -- they cook them at home, they slice it up and then they bring them in ready to serve. All the sides we make today,” said Jason Warda, The Barn owner.

This is Warda’s 6th year doing their annual thanksgiving community luncheon. This year is a bit different including no dine-in service because of the state’s epidemic order, barring dine-in services.

Dinners are served up in to go boxes or delivered. It takes about 40-50 volunteers from planning to cooking to distributing to make all the magic happen.

But even in a city like Fenton where most people consider the area to be a little more well off --

“It doesn’t matter where you are, there’s always a need, there’s always people who are struggling during these times,” said resident Libby Held.

Held donated two Thanksgiving sides to the luncheon, which is something she does every year.

“I’m blessed. I’m blessed to have a job, I’m blessed to have a healthy family and now more if I’m able to do that, it’s important to give back,” she said.

Warda said this year has been incredibly tough dealing with not 1 but 2 shutdowns -- yet today, he’s not thinking about taking care of himself or his business -- but others -- who he knows may have it much worse.

“This community has been so supportive to me and my family, that it’s my obligation to be supportive back for those that need it, so that’s kind of been our thing from the start, and we’re not ever going to stop as long as we’re here,” he said.

The meals are completely free and The Barn is serving/delivering them from 11:00-2:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

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