BOISE, Idaho — When people think of Thanksgiving, most think of gathering for a good meal. But not everyone in the Treasure Valley has a place to go for a warm dinner. Several local businesses got in the holiday spirit to fix that problem
"It's my favorite time of the year. I love being here," said the manager of Boise Stage Shop Nicole Agresta.
For 16 years and counting, Boise Stage Stop has been providing free Thanksgiving meals to those with a commercial driver's license (CDL.) Interacting and serving truck drivers every day, the restaurant staff know how tough and lonely it can be on the road- especially during the holidays.
"I truly believe that our truck drivers are one of the least appreciated people right now and they should be the most appreciated," Agresta said. "Without them, we wouldn't have anything in our stores or anything in life, period."
Agresta has been working at the truck stop store and restaurant for several years and this holiday tradition is something she told KTVB she is honored to be part of.
"Everybody is in a good mood," Agresta said. "They're happy, the employees [are happy] and we're just thankful that we're able to give to everyone."
Another Treasure Valley business looking to carry on a tradition of giving of their is Mulligans Pub in Downtown Boise.
The bar started providing meals to community members last year because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. While things may have begun to look better since 2020, Mulligans' staff still knew how much this service is needed.
Last year they were able to hand out more than 400 meals. With such a positive turnout, they said they wanted to do again and turn it into a tradition.
"Hearing the stories and the need, it's awesome to be doing something that matters in the community," volunteer Delanie Fulton said. "My favorite thing on the planet is being able to give back to people."
Fulton said she knows how hard it is to be alone for the holidays, so one small gesture like this she hopes will brighten someone's day.
"This is a great opportunity for people to get out and have somewhere to go," she said.
But Mulligans is not the only local business paying it forward for the second year in a row. Deja Brew in Meridian has also made giant steps to have another successful year of providing free meals.
"This my heart, this is our community and I love our community," said owner Cecyle Brock. "Just being able to help other people in our little community involved, it's life-changing."
The restaurant offered up a free traditional meal for those in need and even delivered it to people who live within a five-mile radius.
Brock said volunteers and staff are the ones who make it all possible. Community support and gratitude make all the hard work worth it, she added.
"It makes people feel good, the people who have called me today and who have thanked me for doing this, it's about bringing our community together," Brock said.
Deja Brew has a goal of handing out 600 meals, at last check they were at 500. They plan on donating leftovers to the Meridian Food Bank.
Watch more Local News:
See the latest news from around the Treasure Valley and the Gem State in our YouTube playlist: