Michael Cervantes, left, Luis C Rock, Bill Bravo and Dagoberto Delgado celebrate at last year’s Feed the Needy Pre-Thanksgiving Feast at De Luna’s Café.
For a second consecutive year De Luna’s Café and Certified Appliance Repair will be teaming up to give thanks — and to give back to the Stock Island community. The second annual Feed the Needy Pre-Thanksgiving Feast takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 24 outside De Luna’s Café along Maloney Avenue on Stock Island.
Last year, the two businesses, along with a handful of sponsors and volunteers, served up more than 75 turkeys, a mountain of sides and thousands of sodas to more than 650 guests.
“It’s a big process, but a lot of fun,” said Christi Arnold of De Luna’s. “I can’t think of a better way to serve your community and give thanks to everybody.”
The event, which was originally designed for needy families and the homeless, also catered to hundreds of De Luna’s patrons and friends — ranging from military families and fishermen to attorneys and bankers.
“It’s intended for the needy,” said Michael Cervantes of Certified Appliance. “But we’re never going to turn anyone away because we all make up this community together and that’s what this is all about.”
Unlike many charitable endeavors, Feed the Needy was never intended for corporate branding. Instead, Cervantes and his long-time friend, Dagoberto Delgado of De Luna’s Cafe, hatched the noble cause based on a simple belief in giving back to the community.
“I’m a fourth generation Conch and [Degado] has been here for three generations,” said Cervantes. “We were just talking about how good Stock Island and Key West has been to us and we wanted to create a way to help some of those who are not as privileged or don’t have the family support that so many of us have over Thanksgiving.”
This year, Delgado and his team at De Luna’s Café anticipate up to 3,000 hungry guests, which means hundreds of turkeys, side items and volunteers will be needed. All of the food is prepared at De Luna’s Café over a 48-hour, around-the-clock period and any leftovers will be donated to Star of the Sea Outreach Mission.
“We anticipate this to be the biggest event that has ever occurred on Stock Island,” said event supporter Louie C Rock. “The event is for everyone. No qualifications have to be met…this truly embraces ‘one human family’ and we hope everyone is able to come out.”
The Feed the Needy Pre-Thanksgiving Feast takes place the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and guests are encouraged to arrive as close to noon as possible. Festivities will include live entertainment by DJ Patrick and sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available by calling 305-304-1188.