The Dawsonville Tavern is giving back this year with their Christmas Day project "Feed the Hungry." The restaurant is hosting a free meal for the less fortunate on Dec. 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
"On Christmas Day, our restaurant will be closed to the public but open to the less fortunate," said owner Jennifer Hyder.
This is the second year that the Hyder and her husband Donavon have decided to open their doors to those in the community who are struggling with hunger, poverty or homelessness.
A team composed of the Hyders, their children (whose ages range from 7 to 14), managers Nick Royalty and Scotty Seay, as well as staff volunteers and volunteers from the community will be serving the food.
"Last year we had around 20 volunteers, but this year we've had an overwhelming response from people wanting to help," Hyder said. "We'll take all the help we can get."
Last year, Hyder said that her staff and community volunteers served meals to around 850 people. This year, she expects there will be more.
"We also deliver hot meals to people who cannot get out of their homes to come eat at the Tavern," Hyder said. "We put a notice up on our Facebook for people to send us their addresses if they want us to bring them food. We'll also be knocking on doors to check on people to see if they want some food."
The restaurant will also be open to all first responders and emergency personnel who are working Christmas Day.
Reinhart Foods is sponsoring the food, donating more than $1,000 worth for the Tavern to prepare for its guests. Desserts will be made by volunteers.
Hyder said that the food will be similar to what was served last year, which included chicken fingers, chili, macaroni and cheese, rolls, salad and an assortment of deserts.
"We decided to start doing this last year because we're big believers in giving back to the community," Hyder said. "We have people come in here all year round and buy food, so we're lucky to be able to take this opportunity to give back to people who can't afford to come in and do that."
Hyder said that she is anxious to continue the tradition.
"As long as we're in Dawsonville, we'll do this year after year," she said.
The Tavern is located at 29 Main St. in Dawsonville, in the Food Lion shopping center.