Two Seymour businesses are coming together again this year to ensure families can have a hot meal on Christmas Day.

The Brooklyn Pizza Co. and Bubba’s Place are organizing their annual free holiday meal event to serve people in need.

This is the fourth year for the community project, spearheaded by The Brooklyn Pizza Co. owner Shawn Malone and Bubba’s Place owners Brian and Jessica D’Arco.

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“We started this idea when we realized the normal services that feed people were not available to folks on Christmas Day, and we wanted to fill that gap,” Malone said.

This year’s event is being conducted in honor of Malone’s sister, Courtney Malone Smallwood, who passed away Dec. 4.

“She taught me so much about loving, caring and giving,” Malone said.

The meals are prepared and delivered throughout Jackson County by as many as 100 volunteers.

Donations from Ranger Enterprises, King’s Trucking and Excavation and the King family in Seymour and Sysco food company in Louisville help pay for the food, which includes turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables and all the trimmings.

Malone said they are still in need of cases of bottled water for the event.

“We like to send extra bottles of water with the meals and in a few instances have delivered to homes that had no water at all, so we leave them a case of water,” he said.

The goal this year is to feed more than 600 people, Malone said.

“I think we started our first year with around 300 meals and have seen an increase in the number of meals each year,” he said.

Anyone in need of a free, hot Christmas meal must register by dialing United Way’s 2-1-1 call center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by calling Brooklyn Pizza at 812-524-8888 or Bubba’s Place at 812-522-2818 after 4 p.m.

Callers will need to provide their name, address, telephone number, number of meals needed and whether they want turkey or ham.

Orders must be placed by Dec. 18.

Meals can be delivered or picked up at The Brooklyn Pizza Co., 753 W. Second St., from noon to 5 p.m. Christmas Day.

Malone said at first, the idea of feeding hundreds of people seemed overwhelming.

“It started out as a whole lot of work, raising money, prepping the food, delivering the food and gathering up volunteers. But that has changed the last couple of years,” he said. “We now have an abundance of volunteers who contribute to the project all year long and show up early on Christmas morning to help.”

Also helping out this year are Mike and Katie Hall, owners of The Pines restaurant, banquet hall and catering in Seymour, who have volunteered their services to cook the food.

Packaging and distribution of meals will begin around 10:30 a.m. at The Brooklyn Pizza Co.

Malone said what is really needed now is for people to spread the word that the meals are available.

“Be it through work, church or social media, we need people to hear about this program so they can get on the list,” he said. “We will continue this spirit of giving every year and hope to feed as many hungry people that reach out to us as possible.”

At a glance

To receive a free, hot Christmas meal in Jackson County:

Call United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline to sign up. Callers will need to provide their name, address, telephone number, number of meals needed and whether they want turkey or ham. You can also call The Brooklyn Pizza Co. at 812-524-8888 or Bubba’s Place at 812-522-2818.

Deadline to sign up is Dec. 18.

Meals can be delivered or picked up at The Brooklyn Pizza Co., 753 W. Second St. in Seymour, from noon to 5 p.m. Christmas Day.

To sign up as a volunteer to package and deliver meals, call The Brooklyn Pizza Co. at 812-524-8888 or Bubba’s Place at 812-522-2818.

Monetary donations can be made at The Brooklyn Pizza Co. or Bubba’s Place, 402 S. Walnut St. in Seymour.

Author photo
January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.