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Giving Thanks By Giving Meals


This Thanksgiving, not everyone is having turkey at home with the family.  A Tennessee businessman will be serving Korean food to the homeless of his community. It’s a Thursday ritual for him, and as Lilla Marigza reports, it’s this recent immigrant’s year-round thank you.


(Locator: Nashville, Tenn.)

Sam Lee came to the U.S. from Korea five years ago. Living the American dream, Lee owns a restaurant in downtown Nashville and has found a way to give something back to help his new neighbors.

Sam Lee / Restaurant Owner:  “The first customer was homeless and he asked me, ‘Could you give me a cup of coffee? And can I stay here?’”

Lee decided to do something more. He began taking meals to a downtown park.

Sam Lee: “I prepared 20 servings and I bring them there and I talk about ‘Jesus loves you.’”

Dinner line: “Oh, you’re hungry!”

In a few short months, 20 meals grew into a ministry. With the help of two United Methodist churches, Lee now serves about a hundred meals each Thursday.

Diner: “Load me up. I didn’t eat all day!”

James Rose / Diner: “They are good people for helping people that are hungry, because it says in the Bible about, ‘Come and I shall feed you’ or something like that.”

People here say they look forward to these Thursday gatherings, and a listening ear from someone who cares.

Robert Smith / Diner: “I mean, this one-on-one time where they find out what’s going on in each person’s life and see if they can give some helpful advice and try to keep them going onto the right path there.”

Lee and his church friends wouldn’t think of missing a Thursday.  Even on Thanksgiving Day, they’ll be right here, like always.

Cole Younger Barnes / Diner: “In my heart, it means someone really does care for the homeless. I am very grateful for these people.”


On Thanksgiving Day, Sam Lee is expecting an even larger crowd than usual to feed.
He plans to serve special Korean holiday food.

Also see: Restaurateur makes difference for homeless at Thanksgiving.

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