Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kitchen, hearts are open

Johnny and Rosemary Nadeau will host Share the Bounty, a meal for the needy, Thursday at Johnny’s Italian Restaurant.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Johnny and Rosemary Nadeau will host Share the Bounty, a meal for the needy, Thursday at Johnny’s Italian Restaurant.

CLEARWATER — Johnny's Italian Restaurant closes just two days each year: Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Not this year.

The restaurant will shut down on Christmas as normal. But doors will open wide on Thanksgiving as owners Johnny and Rosemary Nadeau, their 11-year-old son Johnny Jr., employees and volunteers host Share the Bounty, a free holiday meal for people in need.

With help from local churches, vendors and distributor Sysco Food Services, the 175-seat Italian restaurant at 2907 State Road 590 will dish out turkey with all the trimmings Thursday.

The free meal idea came from Rosemary Nadeau.

"We want to fill the seats with needy families and those who may not have family to celebrate with," Johnny Nadeau said.

The Haven of Religious Community Services, Calvary Baptist Church, Harborside Christian Church and other local churches and organizations provided names of those in need.

Lisa Matzner, director of development at Religious Community Services of Clearwater, said information on Share the Bounty was passed on to participants in the Haven of RCS and the organization's three other programs: RCS Grace House, a shelter for the homeless; a food bank; and a thrift store.

"What we're seeing more of this year are people who might have in the past written a check — but may not be able to this year — donating in-kind services," she said. "People are finding creative solutions to help the community.

"That's very endearing to us at RCS. What Johnny's Italian Restaurant is doing is very moving and generous."

More than half the seats are taken for Thursday's dinner.

"If someone knows a family in need, they can call me," said Rosemary Nadeau. "Out of the numbers of people we expect so far, half are children. One mother's coming with seven children."

Because of the number of little ones expected, Share the Bounty hopes to find face-painters or balloon-shapers to volunteer as entertainment. Even if that doesn't happen, diners young and old will have a festive Thanksgiving dinner.

"For one day, the restaurant won't serve Italian," Rosemary Nadeau said.

"At 2 p.m., we'll have one seating and serve all the meals. If all goes well, we may do it again next year."

Even though the restaurant will be closed on only Christmas this year, she said no employees have complained.

"I was pleased people offered to give up their holiday at home to help," she said. "Usually we have three holiday parties, but we've scrapped them all. These are hard times. This is our way to give back to a community that's supported us for 28 years."

Fast facts

If you go

What: Share the Bounty, a free Thanksgiving meal for people in need.

When: 2 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Johnny's Italian Restaurant, 2907 State Road 590, Clearwater.

For more information: Call (727) 797-2940.

Kitchen, hearts are open 11/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 21, 2008 5:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'We were lucky': Zephyrhills, Dade City get back to normal after Irma

    Hurricanes

    Two weeks after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, residents and city officials in eastern Pasco — hit harder than other areas of the county — are moving forward to regain normalcy.

    Edward F. Wood, 70, tugs at a branch to unload a pile of debris he and his wife picked up in their neighborhood, Lakeview in the Hills in Dade City.
  2. After Hurricane Irma, many ask: How safe are shelters?

    News

    NAPLES — Residents of the Naples Estates mobile home park beamed and cheered when President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott strolled amid piles of shredded aluminum three days after Hurricane Irma to buck up residents and hail the work of emergency responders. But almost nobody had anything good to say about …

    The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area opened its doors to anyone seeking temporary shelter during Hurricane Irma. Evacuees were housed in the Istaba multipurpose building and was quickly at capacity housing over 500 people. [Saturday, September 9, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. What you need to know for Thursday, Sept. 21

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    Aaron Richardson Jr. talks to voices in his head at his father's bail bond business in St. Petersburg July 22, 2017. Richardson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was arrested for carjacking in 2011. He was declared incompetent to stand trial and moved between Florida State Hospital and Broward County Jail. While in custody he lost both his sight and hearing. He was released to his family in 2014 without an explanation. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   TIMES]
  4. When elders are in peril, who do you call — 911 or Rick Scott's cell?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Twelve hours after Irma blasted through South Florida, conditions at Larkin Community Hospital in Hollywood were miserable.

    Police surround the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, on Sept. 13 in Hollywood. So far, nine deaths have been blamed on the incedent. [John McCall | South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
  5. As spice incidents decline, Clearwater consultant suggests more coordinated services for street homeless

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — The actual number of homeless people living in downtown streets and parks is not growing, as it has appeared to some city officials and business owners over the past five months, a hired consultant concluded this week.

    Members of the homeless population wait in line before they are fed a meal near the Clearwater Police Department headquarters in June.  EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times