Tampa business owner preparing Thanksgiving dinner for less fortunate

Free Thanksgiving dinner for those in need
Posted at 1:50 PM, Nov 22, 2017

TAMPA -- Lidiana Diaz has spent the last week preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Everything from the turkey, to the green beans, mashed potatoes and of course, the pies. Diaz is not getting this food together for her family though, but rather cooking for complete strangers.

“Growing up we struggled with food,” said Diaz. “We had to go get food from the church. And I just want to give back to the community because I know that there are a lot of people struggling.”

This is the second year she has set up a free Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who would like to stop by.

“The struggle that other people are going through, is like what I went though, I know, I’ve been there and I want to help,” said Diaz.

Last year, Diaz served 50 to 60 people under a tent in front of her store, The Smoke Bodega, on Sheldon Road in Tampa. This year, she is hoping for an even bigger turnout to serve those who otherwise would go without this year.

She does it all out of the kindness of her heart. She accepts donations, but doesn’t ask for them. The mother of two says she’s just thankful for the life she has now and just wants to see other people smile.

“We’re going to be helping other people that need it more than we do,” said Diaz.

The free Thanksgiving dinner will be held Thanksgiving afternoon from 2:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. at The Smoke Bodega located at 6911 Sheldon Road in Tampa.