Local eatery serves up holiday meal for a buck

Normally, a dollar won’t even buy you a cup of coffee anymore, but tomorrow that sum will not only get a full Thanksgiving meal, but one with the “best turkey you ever had.

“We will have deep-fried turkey and our version of the world’s best potatoes,” said Darryl Baldwin, owner of MoonDogs, Too on Bay Street, explaining that the “complete Thanksgiving meal” will indeed be offered at his business for $1.

“The inspiration for it was that we wanted to give back to our community,” Baldwin said. “We wanted to provide a Thanksgiving meal for anyone that wanted it, or otherwise might go hungry.”

He said the $1 fee is to offset some of the cost of the meal, but will also help keep track of how many people are served that day.

“We are working with our suppliers, and with local grocery stores, to see if any can donate food,” Baldwin said, explaining that he has received an “outpouring” of support from the community.

“We’ve gotten a great response from local businesses, many who have set up collections or will be bringing donations,” he said.

All this week, Baldwin said his restaurant will also be accepting donations of food, clothing and money for South Kitsap Helpline, which each year gives hundreds of families the ingredients to make a full meal, but does not actually serve one on Thanksgiving.

Michelle Roloff at the food bank said Helpline and Kitsap Community Services have been telling people about the meal at MoonDogs, which was the only one in the area that she knew of this year.

“Family Kitchen at First Lutheran Church serves dinners the last two weeks of every month, but they are not serving on the holiday,” Roloff said, adding that she did not recall such a meal being offered last year.

As for the food bank, Roloff said it has 800 families signed up for meal baskets, the majority of which were handed out Monday and yesterday.

At MoonDogs, Baldwin said he is preparing for 150 people to come eat, and he has at least a dozen staff members who have volunteered to work that day, along with numerous community members who have volunteered to help out, as well.

If things go well, Baldwin said he is planning on holding a similar dinner for Christmas, and for that holiday he hopes to find some way for families to be able to bring their children.

“Our biggest challenge this year is that the state liquor board will not allow children in here,” he said, explaining that he hoped there might be some “loophole” he could find for Christmas.

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