Salamanca Business Giving Out Free Thanksgiving Feasts Friday

Hometown Rent to Own will be giving out free “Thanksgiving Feasts” to Salamanca community members Friday. Photo by Deb Everts

SALAMANCA — The season known for giving and sharing begins at this time of year.

With that in mind, Hometown Rent to Own in Salamanca will be handing out free “Thanksgiving Feasts” to families in need Friday from 4-6 p.m. The business is located at 203 Center St. in the Center Street Plaza.

Co-owners Matthew Radecki and Christopher Fiegl said people don’t have to be a customer of theirs to participate. Upon arrival, they will have a table-full of food items to choose from including mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, stuffing, and dinner rolls. Participants will also be given a gift card to redeem at Sander’s Parkview where they will pick up their turkey.

“We partner with Sander’s Parkview this time of year. Their support in this is huge,’ Radecki said. “Radio station MIX 101.5 FM of Olean will be doing a live broadcast onsite from 4-6 p.m. that day. We’ll also be doing other giveaways.”

This is the third year Radecki and Fiegl have held this event as a thank you to the community that has supported them. They would like to give back once again this year by handing out the makings for 150-200 full Thanksgiving dinners to people who need help making ends meet.

Radecki said there is a limit to the dinners, so they encourage people to get to the event sooner, rather than later, because they will be packed with people lined up to get the food items.

“We know the holiday season is especially hard for many people who just can’t afford it, so we like to bring families together by doing this each year,” he said. “If you think about it, this is a difficult time of year with Christmas coming up. People are saving for that holiday and they also have other bills to pay. Thanksgiving dinner can get pretty expensive and some people don’t have the extra funds, especially with the economy we are in. We want to try to take care of anybody in need, and we want to make sure nobody is going without, especially this time of year.”

Radecki said anybody in the community and surrounding communities can come in for the free event, without any obligation, and take food home to enjoy for Thanksgiving. He said there are many people out there who might be in need. It could be a friend, a neighbor or somebody else. Anybody is welcome. If someone knows of an individual or family in need, they can come down to pick up the dinner and take it to them.

“Last year was a great success,” he said. “We hope to grow this every year and help more and more people in our community.”

According to Radecki, he and Fiegl built Hometown Rent to Own from the ground up. He said they became co-owners of Hometown Rent to Own four years ago after becoming friends while they were working for a competitor. Radecki was Fiegl’s district supervisor when he was manager of a store in Salamanca.

“There are risks in any business, but we were given a great opportunity from our mentors, Randy and Laura Otander of Ashville,” he said. “They are the ones who helped us get this business going. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be feeding the community, annually.”

Radecki said during their first year in 2015, their business was featured in a national magazine, “RTOHQ: The Magazine,” the official voice of the rent-to-own industry.

“We just want to give back to the community that has done so much for us and made us an overnight success,” he said. “From the time we got the keys to the door and filled up with inventory, we literally had a line of customers out the door. We knew our business was going to work in the first year.”

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Radecki resides in Jamestown with his wife, Christina, and their two children, Skyla and Vanessa. A native of Schenectady, Fiegl grew up in Hamburg and lives in Little Valley with his wife, Heather, and two children, Dylan and Heidi.

For more information, call 265-2080 or find Hometown Rent to Own on Facebook.