NEW Ellenton, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – The Atomic City Café in New Ellenton hosted a Thanksgiving feast that lasted all night.
We were there for the food and fellowship.
Owner Daphne Simpkins said she didn’t have much growing up, but watching her family continue to give inspired her at a young age.
When she owned the café, she began to impact her community in a bigger way.
“We don’t really have much, I know I can’t save the whole world, you know, I can only save one person at a time, but if I can help anyone, it’s worth it to me,” she said.
Simpkins set out to do this for communities like New Ellenton.
“As you know, it started with the coat drive. Then we ended up saying, you know what, let’s make a free Thanksgiving meal,” she said.
A few days earlier, Simpkins and her crew had spent countless hours in the kitchen preparing a hot meal for all who needed it.
“Tuesday, we made all the desserts. Wednesday, yesterday, we made a lot of kale, a lot of macaroni and cheese, yams, green bean casserole, and a dressing with and without meat…mashed potatoes. Today I get here at six in the morning. I fry up five turkeys,” she said.
This free hot meal changed the lives of people like Joe Bush.
“I looked at the fact that you know there are people who have nowhere to afford a meal. For some reason, I think God spoke to Daphne’s heart,” he said.
Bush said his family was everywhere and he was going to spend Thanksgiving alone until she called him.
“My family didn’t cook today. I was honored when Daphne invited me in today,” Bush said.
Her servant heart goes beyond just cooking free meals.
“I’ve made a lot of new friends. Like I said, I’ve helped them a lot. You know, we have clothes and coats. When it starts to go away completely, almost to a stop, we pack everything up and I go straight to Nursing home at 278, give them everything,” Simpkins said.
Again, Thanksgiving is about blessing others.
“Knowing that no one is going to go hungry makes me feel good. You can come up, and even if you don’t have a family, you can be part of a family. That’s how we treat you when you walk in the door,” she said.
75 people came in 2021. This year, she served more than 100 plates in the first three hours.
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