FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Christmas Eve, Salty Papa’s Shrimp House was handing out holiday cheer, one box at a time
Providing free ham dinners on Christmas Eve is a tradition that started for Salty Papa’s last year during the pandemic.
One year later, a co-owner Marc Arnett says they couldn’t resist bringing it back.
“As a management group, we decided we wanted to do it again. Nothing has really changed as far as the need from the community, there are still folks out there that could use a meal,” said Arnett.
This year, families in Southwest Florida were also helping to pitch in with food donations and monetary gifts.
“As we are running the restaurant throughout the week, people bring this food into us and say hey, we want to be a part of what you are doing so this is truly a community event,” said Arnett.
This year, Salty Papa’s had set the bar high, handing out more than 800 free meals to families.
For people like John Hill, it’s less about the numbers and more about the community connection.
“It’s nice to see there are business owners that are really reaching out to the community this way, that’s something you don't see very much anymore, so it is special,” said Hill.