(Update: adding video, comments from Bend rapper)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --J Meast, a Bend hip-hop artist, is hosting his fourth annual free Thanksgiving dinner event next month. He began the thanksgiving tradition after feeling he was in a good place in life to start giving back to the community and seeing so many who were without a home or other support.
“It broke my heart. It Just made me feel sad that people were out here, especially on the holidays, when it’s cold and snowing and they don’t have anywhere to go and eat,” Meast said Wednesday.
Shortly after moving to Central Oregon from California seven years ago, Meast says he noticed the number of homeless and decided providing a warm meal during the holidays would be a good way to help the community.
Meast pays for most of the supplies needed for the event and isn’t asking for donations, but if people are interested in helping, there are options.
“It doesn’t have to be cash, it can be food. It’s going to be cold, you can bring blankets. You can bring whatever you feel people may need,” Meast said.
About 50 people are fed every year during his free holiday events, but wants to encourage as many people who can to stop by and enjoy a meal.
This year, the free Thanksgiving dinner will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25 at the Domino Room in downtown Bend.
Meast said he’s made great memories when hosting these events, and recalls being able to help out someone in need with extra donation funds he received.
“What we wound up doing was is we gave it to a lady, because she said she had just lost her home. We gave her the rest of the donation money that we were going to give to the venue,” Meast said
Meast said being able to give back to the community is one of the best things about being a rapper.