DALEVILLE, Ala. (WDHN) — “It started out as a veteran military dinner and then we realized its more of a need in the community,” Chopper’s BBQ Owner Christopher Wood said.

That’s why every year, Chopper’s Ol School Barbecue holds a free Thanksgiving lunch to make sure no one has an appetite on Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving was founded on that premise of togetherness and having a meal together and we feel this is the best way we can give back to our community,” Wood said.

Food that was offered consisted of smoked turkeys and hams, and the traditional fixings that pairs with those meats, and of course the finale — desserts. The goal was to hand out 1,200 to 1,500 meals this year which is over 200 more meals than last Thanksgiving.

Wood said without dedicated servants none of this would be possible.

“This year is the most volunteers we ever had,” Wood said. “I had an entire restaurant full of people ready to serve the rest of the community it just feels good to know people think that highly of you to serve the community.”

Some of the community members and service members eating inside of the restaurant were extremely thankful for Chopper’s lending a helping hand.

“Many of us are away from our families at this time training on Fort Rucker and this is a great place we can go and intermingle and get some of the good food here at choppers,” said Tyree Norwood, a Texas native in the Army. “Even for the local civilian population because of covid it gives us an opportunity to come together.”

“We just thank the owner of this place Chopper’s for celebrating and having Thanksgiving for everyone for those who weren’t able to cook, but he’s celebrating by being able to get you free food,” Enterprise native Joseph Kelly said. “It’s not always about that it’s about the celebration and the living of God.”

Wood said they will begin working on next year’s event next month.