Along with the generous support of local businesses, Golden Corral's Thanksgiving tradition has now become "Florida's Largest Community Thanksgiving Meal" and is expected to serve over 25,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day. All are invited to dine in The Salvation Army gymnasium located on 440 W. Colonial Dr., beginning at 11 a.m. The dinner is a collaborative effort founded by Eric Holm and made possible with the support of the non-profit community, corporations and local businesses including: U.S. Foods, MBM Food Services, New York Bakery, Bubbalous Bar-b-q, Pepsi, Harvill's Produce, Action Ice and Sprint who provides cell phones for those who wish to call home. Over 1,000 Salvation Army volunteers will arrive throughout the day to assist with serving the meal.
Owner and president of Metro Corral Partners, Eric Holm, founded Helpings from the Heart to give back to the community and return the favor to The Salvation Army which provided a Thanksgiving meal to the Holm family many years ago when Mr. Holm was a child. "Golden Corral takes pride in feeding the community every day of the year in its restaurants and we see Thanksgiving as a way of giving back to Central Florida by providing for those in need," said Holm. "This year we know that all kinds of families may need help."
"Last year we served over 24,000 meals, and, this year with the economy the way it is, we are preparing for over 25,000 meals," said Jason Gronlund, executive chef and kitchen manager of Helpings from the Heart. "We know that it is a lot of food to prepare and have ready, but every year we make it happen and every year we get better at doing it."
Major Andrew Kelly, Area Commander of The Salvation Army in Orlando, says, "In 25 years, I have never experienced a community more in need than this one is right now. This meal has always been a blessing to those we serve, and this year, it will do more good than ever."