This Thanksgiving, Stastny and his crew served 67 families and more than 350 people. There’s no cap to the number of families who can receive meals — Stastny said the operation has room to grow, or even double, if more people are in need in 2022.
“It’s definitely pretty awesome every year. It’s a lot of work and very stressful,” Stastny said. “Sometimes I say, ‘Man, why do I do this every year?’ But it’s always worth it.”
Stastny’s girlfriend, Phoenix Rumsey, has been part of the project since its inception. She said each year is eye-opening — some of the families receiving meals don’t even have phone numbers.
“It’s something you don’t even think about,” Rumsey said. “I’m surprised this year how many people signed up. I’m glad people felt comfortable enough to do that.”
Stastny came up with the idea to donate meals with his friend, Andy McCormick, at an Atlanta real estate conference that was hosting a turkey drive.
Both Stastny and McCormick wanted to feed one family that Thanksgiving. When Stastny put the word out to Wonton Jon’s customers and the Omaha community, requests to serve other families in need came pouring in.
“It wasn’t originally intended to be as big as it is,” Stastny said. “But I knew there are always people in need, so when I saw the opportunity to be something bigger, I just pushed it. It took on a form of its own.”