AUBURN GRESHAM — A free dinner complete with two sides, a dessert and drink will be given away to community members Tuesday for the fourth consecutive year by BJ's Market & Bakery.
Pre-packaged dinners, cooked by BJ's Market, will be handed out from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis to 2,300 people at its restaurant at 1156 W. 79th St., said Leslie Wilson, manager of the Buffett eatery.
"Each dinner will come with chicken, two sides (such as mashed potatoes, macaroni & cheese or cabbage), a dessert (such as peach cobbler, cheesecake and Carmel cake), and a drink," Wilson said. "This is our way of giving back to the community for supporting us for the past nine years we have been here."
Located at the busy intersection of 79th Street and Racine Avenue, the restaurant has been a pillar in the community, according to Carlos Nelson, executive director of the non-profit Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, located across the street from BJ's.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, said feeding the community should not be limited to Thanksgiving, but year round.
“With so many people struggling to feed their families and so many people hurting emotionally with the violence, and the economy as it is, this is a great opportunity to show love, celebrate family and feed our community," Pfleger said.