LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Thanksgiving in Acadiana means lots of good food, fun, and family. But for the less fortunate, that’s not always the case.
At St. Joseph’s Diner, it’s a Thanksgiving Tradition, spanning over 30-years to help provide a hot meal to those who most need it this holiday.
“When you truly give and you live into what Thanksgiving really is,” Alaina Kiefner, “the giving comes in the receiving and the receiving comes in the giving.”
For volunteers like Kiefner, it’s a holiday tradition that’s not stopping anytime soon. “I’ll just make it a point every year to come, it’s just kind of become a staple tradition in our family, it’s not the same without coming to Saint Joe’s.”
At. St. Joseph’s Diner, they provide meals 364 days a year, but it’s the holidays that seems to hit people the hardest.
“The holidays may be challenging for people that may not have a home or experience hunger and poverty in our community.” Said Sarah Clement, the Director of Development.
The Thanksgiving menu, of course, includes turkey. Volunteers in the community smoked and donated 24 of the birds just for the diner.
“It’s great because we don’t feel like we’re alone in our work.” Said Clement, “I think everybody wants Acadiana to be the best it can be and it can only be the best it can be if we’re taking care of people that need our help.”
And for the Kiefner family, they said they’ll continue to volunteer and give back, providing a home for those less fortunate on a day when it’s most important. “It needs to have those relationships to kind of celebrate on Thanksgiving so it’s not just a one-time thing,” said Kiefner, “you actually are family with them on Thanksgiving.”
Volunteer shifts were filled for the day, as well as for Christmas Day but staff encourages volunteers on the other days throughout the year to help out and give back.