Pandemic Shuts Down LBI Free Thanksgiving Dinner

(Photograph Courtesy of Vincent DiSalvio)
At this time very last calendar year, Dana and Vinny DiSalvio have been really hard at work with preparations for the annual free Thanksgiving Supper hosted at The Sandbox Café in Surf City with the enable of volunteers, other restaurateurs and businesses. But now the fifth once-a-year celebration, scheduled for afterwards this thirty day period, has been canceled because of to pandemic limits.  
“I am heartbroken,” Dana DiSalvio reported by telephone Monday afternoon. “I come to feel as if I’ve let the neighborhood down.” 
Though DiSalvio understands that isn’t the circumstance, she just cannot support emotion that way soon after getting phone calls from volunteers seeking to know what they could do in 2020, a yr of confined substantial gatherings because of to the general public overall health crisis that shuttered the condition for three months in advance of a sluggish reemergence into as non-traditional a summertime on Extensive Beach Island as any person can try to remember.   
“It was not just us. Wally’s did the potatoes. Scojo’s provided the soup. WooHoo brought the ice product. Our make distributor donated make,” she explained. “It was a round robin (of helpers). It was a beautiful circle of existence, a neighborhood party for the group.” 
With far more than 40 volunteers and additional than 350 attendees, the logistics of the Thanksgiving supper just are not possible this 12 months, she said.  
“We’re a tiny cafe. We would only be able to provide 19 men and women at a time we’d be serving people for times,” DiSalvio claimed. 
Out of doors dining in the large tent exterior the cafe, even though still sanctioned by Surf City officials, also isn’t possible just after a check out from an Ocean County Fire Marshal on Nov. 7, she reported. DiSalvio mentioned the hearth marshal explained to them the heater they have been working with was deemed a fire hazard, and the tent, if it was not rated for snow and ice, had to appear down in limited order.   
Relocating the totally free turkey evening meal to another area was mentioned, but fireplace halls are shut to the community due to the fact of the pandemic, she explained. Just previous month, the Surf Metropolis Volunteer Fire Co.’s Trunk or Take care of was held solely outdoors, and a ticket was expected for entrance. In Ship Bottom, the hearth business is transferring the spot of its annual Christmas tree sale to the parking lot of the Place Corner Sector to accommodate social distancing rules.  
Turning the annual totally free Thanksgiving meal into takeout was not an selection for the reason that of the large selection of volunteers desired. 
“There are nevertheless also numerous persons, and get in touch with tracing would be tough,” she mentioned, noting that destinations that are doing takeout Thanksgiving dinners are doing the job with employees.  
As let down as DiSalvio is at possessing to cancel the local community occasion, she is even more involved about the influence it will have on the community. In certain, she reported, is the St. Francis Foods Lender.
“Even even though they (diners) didn’t have to convey something or donate, they did, and it all went instantly to St. Francis. I am certain if folks even now want to do that, they (St. Francis) would value it,” she said.  
— Gina G. Scala

Leave a Reply