Free pizza and pumpkin pie in Green Bay on Thanksgiving, no questions asked

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 4:09 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - While pumpkin pie and pizza may not be your typical Thanksgiving meal, a free plate of hot food may make all the difference for those who need it today - no questions asked.

Hosting walk-ins from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, November 25, Gallagher’s Pizza at 2655 W. Mason Street in Green Bay gave a hot meal to anyone who came through their door.

The owners weren’t anticipating any particular number for their first free Thanksgiving buffet. However, they weren’t going to turn anyone away either. Volunteers, including family and friends, rather than just staff helped serve the meals.

“We’re just grateful to be where we are, especially here,” Vanessa Miller, a staff member of Gallagher’s Pizza who brought her children to the event to help volunteer. “I think Green Bay and this area has a special feel to it. It’s small town but big time love so we’re just thankful to be where we are.”

Of the four Gallagher’s Pizza locations in Northeast Wisconsin, this one on W. Mason Street in Green Bay is the busiest, according to owners. Rather than being packed with customers today though, it was relatively quiet with people grabbing as much free pizza and pumpkin pie as they liked, no explanation needed.

“I think it’s really a great thing,” Gallagher’s Pizza volunteer who greeted guests, Amy Spears, said. Spears is also a local weaving and stone-work artist. “Just giving them a sense of security for the day and a place that they can come to and stay out of the snow today.”

Miller, married to Chad Miller who is the general manager of Gallagher’s Pizza, brought some of her children to help serve. Even though they spend quite a bit of time there already after school, even doing homework at the restaurant.

“They were excited to do this,” Miller emphasized. One of the hardest workers on the team today was Miller’s seven-year-old daughter, Journey, who was scrubbing down tables and helping her mom check-in on visitors. “It’s something that we want to make sure that they know as well. That this is kind of what life is all about is doing what you can when you can, when given the resources to do so.” When asked what she was grateful for today, Journey said: food, her family, and having a place to live.

The words “grateful” and “thankful” were repeated over and over again when discussing the locally owned restaurant established in 1996.

“I mean, all the food is really good, and the atmosphere is really nice,” Javon Miller, Vanessa’s 11-year-old son shared between running pizza trays to and from the kitchen. “Being around people is just great because a lot of my friends come here and stuff,” Javon’s 11-year-old brother, Silas Cohen, added.

Spears said that she wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes an annual tradition. If it does, she will definitely be back volunteering next year.

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