TAMPA, Fla. — Long before the sun had risen, Chef Daniel Graves and his team of sous chefs began prepping a Thanksgiving feast of beautifully-roasted turkey, mouthwatering cornbread dressing, and more.
Graves, the executive chef of Trinity Cafe, is partially responsible for feeding hundreds of people each Thanksgiving as part of Feed Tampa Bay's mission to feed those who are in need.
“I look forward to coming to work every single day. My service to these people is very, very important to me as is my staff, and there’s a loyalty that we have for them, and we take it very seriously," said Graves.
While Thanksgiving is a big day for Trinity Cafe, its work is non-stop. The free, full-service restaurant cooks up meals 365 days a year for those who are food insecure and anyone looking for healthy nourishment.
To Graves, the work is especially fulfilling this Thanksgiving, with higher prices and the lingering effects of the pandemic causing economic hardship for many people across Tampa Bay.
“And that’s why we prepare for the biggest day of the year, because we know that it’s tough for people out there right now, especially our guests. And we’re going to be here for them, and we’re going to be here for anybody that comes through. No questions asked. We serve everybody," said Graves.
Trinity Cafe and Feeding Tampa Bay will offer a lunch of Thanksgiving classics from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at their locations in Tampa — at 2801 N. Nebraska Ave. and 2202 E. Busch Blvd.
Additionally, they'll offer dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in St. Peterburg — at 6330 54th Ave N.
Diners can either eat in the cafe's dining room or pick up a boxed meal via a drive-through lane at each location.
Feeding Tampa Bay is looking for more volunteers to keep the vital service going throughout the year. You can sign up to become a volunteer at this link.