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'We're not going to let them down' | This DC restaurant fed thousands during this Thanksgiving holiday

Medium Rare has been on a mission to feed people and spread joy since the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

WASHINGTON — Special delivery for Sue Simmons who says this Thanksgiving will be lonely since her family gathering was canceled this year.

“We decided to stay apart this year and at my age, I look forward to seeing them all,” Simmons said. “It hurts.”

But the meal delivered by Medium Rare will “make my day,” she replied with a smile. 

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, staff and scores of volunteers at the D.C. restaurant prepared, packed, and delivered 3,000 meals to seniors who would be alone for the holiday.

Chef Mark Bucher started serving his community in a new way at the beginning of the pandemic, delivering 10,000 meals in March, 250 on Mothers' Day -- answering the call to help our elderly neighbors. 

“When the quarantine started hitting, and people started really going inside this group of Americans, this group of local Washington, D.C.…our neighbors they're scared to death, literally to leave their apartments” Bucher explained. “They don't have a car, they don't drive a vehicle. They're not getting in line at the food banks to get the free boxes of food, they need it. But they can't get to it, and the food can't get to them."

Early Thursday morning, the restaurant fried turkeys for free. Yes, Medium Rare is normally in the steak business but they’ve been frying birds for free for a dozen years. Since they couldn’t do it inside their restaurant, they brought the event to Nats Park. 

There was a long line when before the gates opened at 8 a.m. and two hours in, they already surpassed last year’s total of 350 turkeys. 

“This is the 2020 effort right here,” said Susie Williams, who picked up two fried turkeys with her children. “I’m thankful for my family and I’m thankful for this nation and the pockets of positivity we have to seek out.”

“The entire focus of our company right now is taking care of others,” Bucher said, “Business, sales, profits are completely out the door right now because people have come to depend on us and we're not going to let them down.” 

“He deserves a gold medal,” Simmons added.

The Chef is already making plans for Christmas dinner. Those who received a fried turkey were encouraged to donate to Medium Rare’s foundation Fill the Fridge where they stock meals in refrigerators in D.C. Parks and Recreation Centers making free lunch accessible to children where they are. 

RELATED: LIST: Here’s where you can get a free Thanksgiving meal or food box in the DMV

RELATED: You can get a turkey fried at Nats Park this coming week

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