Poughkeepsie restaurant owner continues tradition of providing free Thanksgiving meals

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Chef Los prepares annual Thanksgiving community dinner

POUGHKEEPSIE – A Main Street, Poughkeepsie restaurant owner has teamed up with other businesses on the 400 block of Main Street and others, to provide free meals for anyone wanting one on Thanksgiving day.

Los Wood, owner of Gennie’s Soul Food restaurant at 452 Main Street, has joined forces with Vassar College, Tropical Fresh Market, Adams Fairacre Farms, Central Baptist Church and others to serve a variety of home-style meals, prepared by Los Wood and a group of volunteers.

Wood is a graduate of the Poughkeepsie Culinary Academy and a well-respected restaurateur in the area.

The chef started the tradition a few years ago in honor of his grandmother, the late Geneva Cramartie.  His restaurant is named after her and her picture is woven into the logo.

Wood said that growing up, holiday meals at his grandmother’s table always included people that he didn’t know.  The strangers ate holiday meals with the entire family.  Wood said that it wasn’t until he was older that he learned that his grandmother would routinely approach strangers and invite them to family gatherings because they didn’t have a place to go.

This is the fourth annual Thanksgiving celebration that is open to everyone.  Last year Wood and his helpers served more than 100 meals and he is planning to accommodate upwards of 300 this year. “I do this as a tribute to my grandma; it’s what she would do,” said Wood.  In addition to choices of smoked, grilled, and deep-fried turkey, meals will also have jerk chicken and a variety of southern-style side dishes including collard greens and yams.  Desserts include a variety of homemade cakes and pies made by Wood’s mother.

Food is being served at Gennie’s from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving day.