It can be the hardest time of year for some, and this year, things are even harder.
With inflation reaching an all-time high and Six Nations families struggling to put food on the table, a turkey or ham as the centrepiece on Christmas Day can make all the difference.
And one local businessman decided to give at least 300 families a merrier Christmas this year, after donating over $10,000 worth of turkeys and hams to community members on Monday.
Nick “Nitro” Wyman, who owns Dixieland Grill and other businesses on the territory worked with his business partners to gather up the resources needed to donate the delicious birds and ham to families in need this Christmas.
Hundreds of vehicles lined up outside his restaurant on Monday to take home a turkey or ham in time for the big day and the event was a huge success, with nobody having to walk away without a donation, said Wyman.
The give-away came about after Wyman said he lost track of time and missed out on his annual back to school donation give-a-away this year, so he asked his partners to start saving up money for turkeys and ham for a Christmas giveaway a few months ago.
“We decided to do it here (at the property of Dixieland Grill on Chiefswood Road),” he said. “We wanted to do something bigger.”
So all Wyman’s businesses pooled all their money together to buy some turkeys and ham.
They wanted to find a tangible way to make sure people enjoyed the holidays this year, after hearing about the dire need for donations from the Six Nations Food Bank this holiday season.
“We just wanted to truly help out and we heard of all the food bank problems this year,” said Wyman.
In addition to the generous meat give-away, Wyman asked that people donate food items for the food bank.
“I’ve got baskets full right now that we normally would give to the food bank,” he said.
Monday night at 5 p.m., the Dixieland Grill parking lot was full of cars and within an hour, almost all the turkeys and ham were gone.
“The coolest part of everything was the line up that we had waiting. When we got to the end had 16 hams left at 6 pm. It was almost perfect. We didn’t have to feel bad we got none left.”
They also got some cash donations, he said.
The only requirement of people who came through was to show a status card.
“It was really gratifying to help out at this time of year,” said Wyman.