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Meijer serving employees holiday meals catered by local restaurants hit hard by pandemic

Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 8:51 PM EST
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BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - A little generosity goes a long way in the pandemic. Meijer is doing double-duty, providing holidays meals to show their employees appreciation, and those meals are being catered by local restaurants.

“It’s certainly some hard times for our local businesses and our community, and it’s important for us to give back not only to our local community but also our team members,” explained Rob Vassar, Store Director at the Meijer in Stevensville.

Last week, Meijer asked Timothy’s Restaurant to make 275 Hawaiian chicken stir fry meals for employees at the Stevensville and Benton Harbor locations. Due to the two Michigan shutdowns in 2020, restaurant owner Tim Sizer said the catering job for Meijer was a small boost for his eatery - a mainstay in Harbor Country’s Union Pier.

“It enables me to give some of my kitchen staff more hours to do those meals when [Meijer calls] us to do meals for them,” said Sizer.

With the Michigan lockdown still in effect, Timothy’s can serve only take-out and outdoor dining meals, requiring Sizer to reduce staffing to just six people. The off-season normal is 35.

“We’re relying on our savings to pay every bill that comes in,” Sizer remarked. “There’s not a restaurant in this state that’s not struggling.”

Catering for the Stevensville Meijer was even more special for Sizer, considering he knows many of the Stevensville Meijer store employees: he buys produce there daily for the restaurant.

“What we give them for their team members, I’m sure how much they appreciate it, how they can get on their breaks and sit down and eat a very, very top-quality meal,” he said.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, every Meijer store and distribution center will provide four holiday meals to thank its team members for their dedication and hard work, with a local restaurant catering each meal.

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