Free meal, clothing for those in need on Thanksgiving in New Haven

christopher martin

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — People were lined up outside Christopher Martin’s since early in the morning, hoping to get a helping hand on this holiday so centered around food.

“I thank God because I can barely walk,” said Kathleen Mallozzi, of New Haven. “I can cook, I’m a good cook. But it’s difficult for me.”

It’s about much more than the food for this annual New Haven event. It’s a time for those in need to fellowship with friends, and get supplies for the cold winter ahead.

“This way I get to see my friends who also have some problems,” Mallozzi said. “I have no winter coat. And it’s a good thing to help other people, especially on Thanksgiving.”

They came streaming in by the dozens. A familiar routine for the 30-year tradition, of serving a free meal to those otherwise without the means.

“Best day of the year. Really is,” said Chris Vigilante, owner of Christopher Martin’s. “We serve food to people who can afford it everyday. One day a year we serve it to people who can’t afford it.”

Piping hot turkey with all the fixings. Plates served up by the hundreds to feed the hungry masses. Every need anticipated by a legion of volunteers. Plenty of smiling faces and kids toasting over the feast. Once the meal is finished, patrons can shop for clothes. All are donations from across the city.

“Some people don’t have no place to go for Thanksgiving. No family. They come eat a nice, hot meal and be warm,” said Rosa McNeill, of New Haven. “And clothes to go on their back.”

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