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Celebrity’s Soul Food reaches people’s heart by filling their stomach on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 4:19 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -Soul food is one Ocala restaurant’s specialty. It is cooked with love at the end of the day,” said Celebrity’s Soul Food owner, Taja “Lady J” Jacobs.

At the restaurant, all were welcome to come as they are to share the Thanksgiving holiday as owners made sure people left with a meal and a message.

“Let’s not forget the season,” said Celebrity’s Soul Food owner, Fredrick “Dr.J” Jacobs. “At the end of the day, in this climate, just be thankful. Whether you have a little, whether you have a lot but be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. I want people to take as much food as they want to but not just for themselves— maybe stop by your neighbor’s house.”

RELATED STORY: Celebrity’s Soul Food hosting free community Thanksgiving feast

The couple prepared 1,000 meals to serve for free out of their restaurant for Thanksgiving. At least 20 volunteers showed up too to help restaurant staff give out meals as people arrived at the restaurant.

“It’s about family and it’s about having a foundation where— you know, built on love and just being a blessing to people,” said Volunteer Ciera Garrison. “Like so, it really is, when you have the heart. The owners have the heart for it so that just goes to show their heart is big and why would you not want to be a part of a journey like this?”

People could pull up in their cars or walk up to the drive-thru, ask for whatever plate they want and then take home their free Thanksgiving meal.

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“I don’t want people to be alone and I don’t want nobody to be hungry,” added Dr. J.

That’s why anyone— from those in need to those who are missing family this holiday could get a full plate with turkey or chicken, collard greens and mac & cheese.

“You know, it’s not a job,” mentioned Lady J. “You know what, this that I’m making and I’m creating is gonna put a smile on someone’s face-- that’s purpose.”

Every car that drove through held residents expressing their gratitude for the free meals.

“Oh we’re so grateful for life, health, family, friends. Thankful for Celebrity, Dr. J, Lady J and the blessing of this meal and just having them in the community,” said Ocala residents, Diane and Laurel.

After about a year of business— Celebrity’s Soul Food owners said they’re just as thankful for having the Ocala community as well.

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