Scrumptious service: Do-gooders hosting free Thanksgiving dinner for Coney’s neediest

Joe Raiola, the chef at Morton’s, has done it again. Follow his recipe for turkey and you’ll be brining, roasting and devouring in no time!

Gobble, gobble it up!

Coney Islanders in need of a warm Thanksgiving meal can tuck into a free feast on Thursday prepared by members of several area do-good groups.

The annual Turkey Day dinner gives locals something to be thankful for and the chance to break bread together, according to a rep for one of its co-hosts, who thanked neighborhood pols and business leaders, including the heads of Luna Park and Italian eatery Gargiulo’s, for their help in putting together this year’s event, the latest in a more than two decade tradition.

“We are proud to collaborate with local businesses and Councilman Mark Treyger to provide community members in need with a delicious meal, allowing all to enjoy Thanksgiving,” said Alexandra Silversmith, the executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, which is staging the annual event along with clergy from the Coney Island Gospel Assembly. “This meal truly couldn’t come to fruition without the dedication and vision of Gargiulo’s Restaurant and Luna Park.”

The hot meal — which volunteers will serve at the Gospel Assembly on Neptune Avenue between West 28th and West 29th streets from noon to 5 pm — will include turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and dessert.

Last year, more than 1,000 locals — including homeless men, women and children, low-income families, and home-bound residents — filled their bellies at the dinner, according to information from the Alliance.

Other neighborhood institutions that helped Gospel Assembly leaders serve the feast this year include Deno’s Wonder Wheel, the New York Aquarium, and the Brooklyn Cyclones, among others.

The president of Luna Park said he and others at the fun zone are thrilled to pitch in for the good cause.

“Providing Thanksgiving meals to our neighbors who need them is one way we can give back to the people of this vibrant community,”said Alessandro Zamperla.

And a co-owner of Gargiulo’s added that he and his colleagues are honored to provide good grub to those who need it most on the food-filled holiday.

“We are proud to come together with our neighbors to provide a Thanksgiving meal for those in our community who are in need,” said Nino Russo.

Community Thanksgiving Feast at Coney Island Gospel Assembly (2828 Neptune Ave. between W. 28th and W. 29th streets in Coney Island, www.allianceforconeyisland.org) on Nov. 22 from noon to 5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
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