Despite financial losses amid the pandemic, Green Bay bar owner gives back on Thanksgiving

Kevin Burkel donated dozens of turkeys and hams to those in need
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 6:27 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A bar owner near Lambeau Field says he’s lost hundreds of thousands of dollars these past nine months due to the pandemic.

Despite that, he’s still giving back to those in need by handing out turkeys and hams.

Kevin Burkel said people not watching Green Bay Packer games in person, and the Covid-19 outbreak in general, has crippled his business.

“There should only be one program going on in this country right now, and it’s how do we save businesses and jobs for the American people,” Burkel said.

He’s owned Burkel’s One Block Over for more than 30 years, and this is the first time, he said he’s been hit with such a financial calamity.

“There’s never been a plan, we’ve been the most picked on business that I’ve ever seen in this country in my life,” Burkel said. “And to get pushed aside, the way we’re getting pushed aside, and to get treated, the way we’re getting treated as restaurant owners is literally disgusting.”

While he calculate his losses at more than six figures since the pandemic began, Burkel was at St. Willebrords Roman Catholic Church Thursday morning bringing in some hams.

“Giving back for me, I really enjoy it. I really do,” Burkel said.

He’s spent the last few days helping fill the church’s refrigerator, and delivering turkeys and hams to those in need.

Pastor Andrew Cribben appreciated the gesture by Burkel and his customers who generated the funds for the donation.

“Some of our members themselves are in a tough position financially right now, and so to provide them with some food from now until Christmas…and beyond is going to be a great benefit for them,” Cribben said.

St. Willebrords is putting together care packages for members in need that will include cooking items and cleaning supplies.

“Today, but not only today, every day is a day to share life with one another,” Cribben said.

Cribben added during these difficult times it’s important to be grateful.

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