By: Ellie Romano


Twitter: @ERomanoABC6

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WLNE) - Missy's Family Restaurant on Clinton Street closed its doors to paying customers on Thanksgiving to hand out 600 meals to those in need.

The Woonsocket based restaurant has been giving back to the community for 14 years. Anyone in a 10-mile radius who is in need of a hot meal can attend the restaurant's giveaway until 5:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The team at Missy's rely on their volunteers to prep the donated food and hand it out to the hundreds of attendees.

This year's Thanksgiving is extra sentimental for the volunteers because it's their first year without one of their beloved organizers.

Volunteer Allan Rodrigues died unexpectedly in August. He was helping a neighbor trim the bushes and then on his way home he tripped and fell, breaking his neck. He was 54-years-old.

His friends at Missy's said he died the way he lived: helping others.

"We never expected that to happen to him," said Judith Bauchemin, owner of the restaurant. "It was just an unfortunate accident that happened that took a great man away from us."

She said they are dedicating this year's Thanksgiving giveaway to Rodrigues.

"This is in his honor. Allan, we love you," said Bauchemin.

The owners said giving back is what Thanksgiving is truly about.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019