On Sunday, December 25, Texas Corral restaurant in Merrillville, in partnership with the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, served Christmas dinner to more than 1000 people in need. The restaurant opened its doors from 11am to 5pm to offer a warm meal at no cost to individuals and families struggling with hunger across Northwest Indiana.
“The Christmas spirit is alive and well in 2016,” said Anthony Moniuszko, General Manager of the Texas Corral restaurant in Merrillville. “When you see the expressions of joy and happiness on the faces of adults and children receiving a free Christmas meal, you quickly realize the blessing of giving back to others.”
Texas Corral restaurants across the Region also held a toy drive leading up to the dinner in order to supply presents for children. About 300 children attended the Christmas Day dinner with their families, and each one had the opportunity to visit with Santa and receive a present.
“Hunger is a serious issue year-round in our community, but it can seem even more prevalent during the holidays when food is the centerpiece of so many celebrations and events,” said Steve Beekman, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. “Texas Corral opened its doors and provided a wonderful opportunity to those in need. The generosity showed by the restaurant and the many organizations that supported the dinner are a great reflection of our community’s commitment to serving others.”
The Merrillville restaurant offered turkey and ham dinners, traditional holiday side items, desserts and drinks. Several local businesses provided support for the event, and more than 40 volunteers gave their time to serving dinner to their neighbors in need on the holiday.
“The individuals and families being served were so grateful and appreciate,” added Moniuszko. “It was a humbling experience I will always remember.”
The Christmas Day meal was made possible by the generosity and support of several community partners and organizations, including Texas Corral Grill & Saloon, The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Suncrest Christian Church, Hobart Assembly, Kraft, Pepsi Cola, US Foods, Gordon Food Service, Sara Lee, Farmer Brothers Company, Strack & Van Til, Wolverine Packing Company, Edward Don & Company, Alpha Baking Company, Welch’s Stop & Shop, Al’s Supermarket, Julie Malkowski at Wild Design, Desserts by Carmela, Rosewood Family Restaurant, Woodward Law Offices, Fifth Third Bank, Patrician Banquets, Centier Bank, the Higginbothams, Drakes and Price Families.