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Local Restaurant Provides Free Meals to Community on Thanksgiving

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Places across Northern Michigan were celebrating Thanksgiving Thursday by hosting their own community Thanksgiving meal. One of those places was The Patio on Main in Lake City.

The Co-owner, Mary Fuhrman, says she got the idea from the owner of Lake City’s Family Diner.

“Originally, it was started by Amy Hannah from the Family Diner down the street. Unbeknownst to me she was already doing this and one of our kitchen workers wanted to do it. We were like, ‘sure we can make that happen,'” Fuhrman recollects.

She says they now alternate who hosts every year. One Lake City resident stopped by Thursday with her husband. She calls the community meal a nice initiative.

“Well it’s really nice having a place to go and eat because it’s just the two of us. Our kids are all busy elsewhere, so it’s nice to go out and have a meal,” she says.

Fuhrman says the community meal is for everyone and is actually starting to become a tradition for some folks.

She says planning for Thanksgiving begins in early October when they ask for donations. Along with pitching in themselves, this year they received a number of donations from businesses and people in the community. And the people preparing the food and waiting tables Thursday was family.

“We try to let the employees have the time off, but they do help a little bit with the prep. Other than that it’s family driven,” Fuhrman explains.

She says her and her family embrace working on Thanksgiving and actually look forward to it. Fuhrman’s mom, Nancy Ingram, who was helping out today, says their family enjoys giving back.

“We can always have our family tradition and dinner after, and we’re going to. So, we’re all headed to the cottage and we’ll all sit down and have a nice dinner as well,” Ingram states.

Their family says while they’re glad for the community making The Patio on Main part of their Thanksgiving tradition, they say their happy to make serving the people of Lake City part of theirs.

“I just think it’s awesome. We all are helping each other out and that’s what life should be about,” Fuhrman says.

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