For 13 years, Isabel’s has provided Thanksgiving meal vouchers for people in need

For many, Thanksgiving is a time for family. But for Antonio Delgado and Mary Witt, the husband-and-wife team who own Isabel’s Family Restaurant, 1110 N. Seminary Ave., it’s also a time to give back.

For the past 13 years, Isabel’s has provided Thanksgiving dinners to people in need, giving about 200 free meal vouchers to local churches and service organizations, which in turn hand the vouchers to individuals and families who might otherwise miss out on a Thanksgiving meal.

“We’re blessed to be a part of it,” said Witt, who added her restaurant is one of a number of local businesses and organizations to lend a hand around the holidays. “I believe Woodstock is a very caring and close community.”

Isabel’s is open to all customers on Thanksgiving, offering everyday items as well as a feast of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, rolls, pumpkin pie and beverages. But a portion of its clientele on Nov. 23 — probably about 100, Witt estimates — will be there for a free Thanksgiving meal.

“It’s our way of giving back. We feel we are here to give in order to receive. We enjoy what we do,” Witt said.

Delgado will roast more than 20 turkeys for Thanksgiving, Witt said, to say nothing of the pounds of potatoes and other fixings the staff will prepare. As for working on a holiday, she said she has no problem staffing the restaurant that day — one longtime waitress, Witt said, “demands” to work the Thanksgiving shift because she enjoys it so much.

Sometimes, people who hear about the restaurant’s charitable efforts even show up to help wash dishes or donate cash, Witt added.

The meal provides an opportunity for fellowship as well as dinner.

“If someone’s going to be alone on Thanksgiving, please come and join us at Isabel’s,” Witt said. “We have a wonderful, hot meal waiting here for you, our treat.”

Isabel’s is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving meals are served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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