ASHLAND -- For Linda and Will Anderson, feeding and taking care of people is a way of life.
The Ashland couple opened Belly Busters BBQ and began serving up southern style barbecue dishes daily in 2008, and initiated a free community Thanksgiving dinner every year since 2011.
Every November, the Andersons prepare dozens of turkeys and collect other holiday food items for the annual feast, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, or Thursday, Nov. 28 this year. They invite the community to enjoy the meal for free or a donation at Belly Busters, located at 1159 E Main St.
"It's the most stressful day of the year, and the most rewarding because we're reaching those who maybe don't have a family or can't afford it," Linda Anderson said.
Last year, she estimates their restuarant served about 300 meals -- 200 dine-in and 100 delivered. And since it's consistently grown year-over-year, she's planning for 300 to 400 meals this Thanksgiving.
"I've already done 24 turkeys, probably will have eight hams and all the sides," Anderson said.
The community often drops off a variety of desserts leading up to the event, too. These are served along with the meals, as available.
The restaurant is still accepting donations and looking for day-of volunteers. A clean-up crew is especially needed, Linda Anderson said.
Those planning to attend the dinner or hope to have a meal delivered are encouraged to RSVP by calling Belly Busters BBQ at 419-903-0930.