A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CEO of Florence-based America’s Best Restaurants announces 15th Thanksgiving food drive

Matt Plapp, CEO of national media and marketing company America’s Best Restaurants, is organizing his annual fundraising drive to help local families in need with Thanksgiving dinner.

2022 marks the drive’s 15th anniversary. Plapp started the drive with his family in 2008, helping three local families that year. The drive has gained momentum over time, as Plapp has been able to reach out to friends, neighbors, and colleagues for donations.

“In 2008, my wife Christy and I had just spent $180 on part of our family’s Thanksgiving meal. I turned to her and said “How many families would love to be able to easily spend that without thinking?” Plapp recalls.

(Photo from Thanksgiving Food Drive website)

Last year Plapp raised $16,500 and helped 364 families in Northern Kentucky have a great Thanksgiving dinner. For 2022, the goal is $20,000 which will help 400 families.

Plapp finds those in need of assistance mainly through local schools and the Northern Kentucky Youth Football League. Shopping, organizing and distributing the food is done by Plapp’s employees at America’s Best Restaurants and by local donors who would like to help.

“I want to make sure we continue to support the families we’ve supported in years past,” Plapp stated in a Facebook video to encourage donations.

In addition, having a hands-on food drive makes it easy for families to come together to help a good cause. Plapp’s two children, 18-year-old Cole and 20-year-old Paige, have helped since very early on.

“Having done the food drive since the second year [it was held] with my parents, it’s been amazing to see it grow,” Paige said. “Being able to help [families] have this meal… on Thanksgiving is an amazing feeling. We take for granted the little things we grow up with, like Thanksgiving dinner.”

One hundred percent of donations go towards buying food for families’ meals. Plapp also creates and publishes a spreadsheet showing where every dollar was spent.

Donations may be made through Sunday, November 20 at www.thanksgivingfooddrive.net.

America’s Best Restaurants

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