When Scott Ellinger first decided to serve free meals on Thanksgiving six years ago, the idea started small for The Brass Rail restaurant owner.
“I said I’m just going to feed people who can’t be with their families,” he recalled.
It snowballed from there. The number of meals increased to 1,000 and then jumped to 7,000. This past Thanksgiving, Ellinger and his team comprised of staff and thousands of volunteers served over 10,000 meals to individuals and families. A winter hat and a pair of gloves was also included with every meal.
In November, The Brass Rail was awarded a $3,200 Operation Round Up grant to help cover the expenses of the meals which are offset by donations. The restaurant is located at 4601 Highway K in O’Fallon.
The meals will be delivered within a 60-mile radius of the restaurant.
“It feels awesome to help out,” Ellinger said. “The notes that come back. That part is awesome. We sit and decompress and read it all, that is the best part.
This year, Ellinger said the plan is to feed 15,000 people. To volunteer in the future, contact the restaurant at 636-329-1349 or follow their Facebook page or website.
The goal of Operation Round Up is to help address needs in the areas of health, education, home weatherization, youth, community and emergency services that cannot be met with other resources.
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative is the largest member-owned electric distribution cooperative in Missouri. It provides service to more than 65,000 residential, business, commercial, industrial and agricultural members in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties.
The Brass Rail received a $3,200 Operation Round Up grant in support of the
restaurant’s effort to provide over 10,000 meals on Thanksgiving.
Pictured, from left, are Doug Steinmeyer, Cuivre River Electric Community Trust member;
Scott Ellinger, restaurant owner; Frank Klaas and Lisa Dunham, Cuivre River Electric Community Trust members.