For more than three decades, Duffy’s in Broken Arrow has provided a free meal to people on Thanksgiving. The owner said the tradition is on hold for this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duffy’s owner Eddie Chamat said the meal has typically included green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and even a slice of pumpkin pie. The meal was free and the invite has been extended to anyone. Chamat said they serve close to a thousand people each Thanksgiving. The meal has been important to him because it has given some a place to go on the holiday.
He said there is usually a line of people each year and safety precautions because of COVID-19, was the ultimate deciding factor.
“It’s like almost impossible to comply with the CDC requirements and keep everyone safe,” said Chamat. “I’m like I can’t do it this year, I’m going to have to pass, it was just too much to handle.”
Chamat said it will be odd having such a quiet Thanksgiving this year, but plans to spend the day with family. He has a strong message for those disappointed the meal is not going to be happening this year.
“Keep the hope up, we’ll be back next year,” said Chamat. “This COVID is slowing us down a little bit but it’s not going to shut us down.”