‘Giving Back Day’ once again provides free Thanksgiving meals at State Fair of West Virginia

When Pigs Fly Barbeque and Piggyback Donuts are happy to announce their Ninth Annual “Giving Back Day,” to be held on Thanksgiving Day, November 23th, 2023. They are proud to be partnering with the State Fair of West Virginia to hold the event.  Because the participation has grown so large, the event is moving to the larger Cecil B. Underwood Building  on the fairgrounds this year.

“With the help of over 125 volunteers, we served 573 free Thanksgiving Dinners in 2022, and we suspect the need may be even greater this year,” said Kellen Leef, co-owner of the popular local caterer and event provider. “So many people are just struggling to get by.” Her partner, Mike Sheridan, said, “We try to give a little something back to the community which has been so good to us, and feeding people is a great way to do it.”   

They will be providing a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie, and all the rest of the trimmings free to anyone who shows up.

“There are many people in our community who are either alone, or unable to prepare themselves a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” said Leef. “We want them to share this joyful and thankful occasion with us.  So, if you know of such people, ask them to come by and join us for good food and fellowship.” 

There is absolutely no charge and no catch; people can throw a donation in the bucket if they want to.  We do not check ID’s, and no paperwork is required. Just show up and eat. They will also deliver to shut-ins, if they have enough volunteer drivers. Doors open from 12-4 on Thanksgiving Day (or until they run out). Carry-out and deliveries begin at 1:00. Please call 304-249-8124 after 9:00 on Thursday morning to request home delivery.

Over the years, the event has evolved into a community-sponsored event, and we have gotten incredible community support. We’ve been fortunate to have donations of both food and cash from a number of individuals and organizations in the community. We’ve received support from many local businesses, churches, and individuals, and will respectfully ask all local businesses to step up and participate.  “We realize that times are hard right now,” said Leef, “but we all need to do what we can to help each other.”

Diners may throw some money into the tip jar if they choose, but it is not required. Leftover food, if any, is donated to the local food bank. Leftover cash, if any, goes to Penny Pitch, a local charitable organization.

They are expecting volunteers on Wednesday, as well as Thanksgiving Day, and the following Friday, to help prep, cook, serve and clean up. Shifts are set up so that nobody has to work all day; people will get to spend time with their families while donating 3 or 4 hours to the community on Thanksgiving Day.

The traffic flow and parking has changed for 2023:  Enter through the gate on the southbound side of Route 219, and follow the signs to the new parking area. Please stay within the designated traffic lanes so we don’t disturb the “Christmas at the Fair” light show, which will be setting up all over the Fairgrounds.

Please call (304) 249-8124 and ask for Kellen to  make a contribution. To volunteer, please call Cathy Sawyer at (304) 645-5401 or email her at catheycsawyer@gmail.com.

When Pigs Fly Barbeque has been cooking and selling real pit barbeque since 2005. They are currently focused on catering, events such as fairs and festivals, made-to-order donuts, seafood,  and concessionaire services for sporting and other events. See their Facebook page or call Kellen at (304) 249-8124 for more information.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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