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Vernon Chef Offers Free Thanksgiving Meals to Anyone in Need

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A Vernon chef offered free Thanksgiving meals to anyone in need at his restaurant on Thursday. He said this was a full circle moment after struggling with homelessness and legal hurdles earlier in life.

Meals were prepared for the lunch rush at Craig's Kitchen in Vernon. Chef Craig Wright made sure each plate of soul food was done right, from the mashed potatoes to the turkey.

Diners raved about the food saying things like, "look at that smoked turkey. Oh my god," "good taste, flavors…everything," and "Craig’s a great cook and he gets better and better every year.”

All of them appreciated the free meals offered by Wright, which is an annual tradition for Thanksgiving. People were also able to grab donated popcorn and canned food as well.

"Just got to give thanks for your blessings. At times, we don’t appreciate the good things that we have," Wright said.

Inside the kitchen, restaurant staff prepped the meals. They expect to serve 100 of the box meals to the community.

“The community has really rallied around me, and my business and I feel this is the best way to give back to them," Wright added.

Wright has been in business for five years now. He said after dealing with homelessness and trouble with the law earlier in life, turning around his life has been fulfilling and now he wants to give thanks.

“Maybe I can be the nice example for the next man or woman going through hurdles and trouble," he said.

Diners appreciated the opportunity for a hot meal.

“It’s a blessing for a small community and it’s a real small community. There’s a lot of homeless in this town and Craig does a lot of good for the community," said Jeff Daigneault, of Coventry.

It's a community that Wright said has given him so much.

“I’m really thankful to be in a position to take care of my family and I really thank the Town of Vernon,” Wright added.

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