NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For over 25 years, volunteers have donated their time and talents to provide a meal to those less fortunate at Christopher Martin’s, in New Haven. Owner Chris Vigilante calls them his regular customers who come once a year.
“Treated like our customers,” said Vigilante. “White tablecloths, same food, same service.”
The line poured out the door as crowds waited on State Street for tables to open up. One of the volunteer servers is Elena Myers, who came all the way up from Brooklyn. She wasn’t empty-handed when she arrived. Her low-income students at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep created all the place mats and candy-bags for the customers, young and old.
“Something small like goodie bags filled with candy, and place-mats for kids can bring them a lot of joy,” said Myers.
It’s not just a hearty meal. The pub at Christopher Martin’s is transformed into a clothing store where, after the meal, patrons are able to stock up on winter clothes. At the bar, liquor bottles are replaced by non-perishables for the needy.
Judging by the smiling faces of the young, and the words of gratitude from adults, the efforts bring about the true feelings of Thanksgiving.
“I’d like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” said Michael Osika, of New Haven.
“(I’m) thankful to be living. For a good meal. For everything,” said Rosa McNeil, of New Haven.