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Bowling Green Diner Opening Doors and Inviting Community for Thanksgiving Meal

The owners of a diner in Bowling Green, Kentucky are making ‘giving’ the most important part of Thanksgiving. At Lisa’s 5th Street Diner, Thanksgiving Day this year means the doors are open and the cash register is closed.

At a time when security and suspicion often override gestures of welcome, Lisa Parker and her husband Cliff  are turning those barriers upside down at the local diner they’ve owned for eight years.

Sarah Duff is manager of the diner. She said everyone is welcome for Thanksgiving and no one gets a bill.

“Homeless, people who is alone, even a couple that don’t have family,” said Duff. “It don’t matter, if you want to come in, we’ll feed you.”

Duff said the diner hosted a free Thanksgiving meal five years ago, but then Lisa got sick, so they skipped it for a while. Duff said Lisa is doing well now and the free meal is a way to say thanks to the loyal customers and the community.  Many of those customers made donations for the Thanksgiving food and are volunteering to cook and serve.

Brian Key eats at the diner several times a week and said the owners are helping us remember the good in the world with the free Thanksgiving meal.

“I think it’s awesome, because it shows the goodwill toward men and caring for those in need that may not be as fortunate,” said Key.

The meal begins at 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and continues until 1:00 or until the food runs out. The diner is planning to feed about 300 people.

Rhonda Miller joined WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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