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Grand Rapids restaurant gives out free turkeys to those in need

Even though the restaurant may be called Mr. Pizza, they've been giving away a more festive food this week: turkeys.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The unemployed are among those in West Michigan who may not have a Thanksgiving dinner this year.

"Everybody is struggling right now," says Jacob Schoonmaker, owner of Mr. Pizza. "There's a lot going on and everyone needs a little bit of help."

Even though the restaurant may be called Mr. Pizza, they've been giving away a more festive food this week: turkeys.

"Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday," says Schoonmaker. "I love football, I love turkey, I love family. I just want everyone to have a blessed holiday."

Schoonmaker has delivered several of the 26 turkeys Mr. Pizza has given away for free himself. And each recipient couldn't be more thankful.

The restaurant has been in Schoonmaker's family since opening in 1963. And in more than a half a century of business, he says they've been blessed by the support of the community. So during the pandemic, he feels its a great time to show that the support goes both ways.

"We've been doing okay, and I think that was a big reason why we wanted to kind of pitch in," he says. "Because a lot of people, and a lot of businesses and families, aren't doing okay."

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