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Open hands, open hearts

Sometimes the second time around is easier than the first, but not for Steve Castle and Nick Milillo, who have teamed up again to donate over 200 meals to area residents this Thanksgiving.

Last November, Steve and Nick worked behind the scenes while people were sleeping. 

During the age of Covid, Nick had to search far and wide for the ingredients to prepare the meals at his catering hall at Trevose Fire Company, cooking overnight so the meals would be ready by 9:00am.

Steve and his group of volunteers also started early in the morning the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, preparing for a no-contact give away of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes and gravy, and a dessert to complete the meal. 

This year, supplies are tight, and costs are up.  

Nick, a Philadelphia native married with three children, has been the head Chef and owner of MEI Catering for 30 plus years. A grandpop to two kids, Nick knows the joy and heartache that families suffer, and the value of sharing a meal. 

Eight years ago, Nick lost his son. Having to deal with the loss has renewed his ability to make someone else’s family a little brighter than the day before. 

“Making a family smile around the table at Thanksgiving means the world to me,” he said.  “If I can bring joy to one family this year, it is worth the effort.”

Steve is the owner of Castle Garden Center in Trevose with his wife Lynn of 39 years. 

“All my life I have given back to the community,” Steve said, “and I am proud of the dozens of groups we have helped.  We are grateful to have been blessed with God’s bounty and His grace, and we want to give back in a tangible way.”

Steve is a retired police officer with Lower Southampton Township, and former fire fighter, and models his parents’ lives of serving others.

Steve and Nick are helped by a group of fire company members and volunteers from the community to distribute the food. 

If you know a family or individual that could benefit from a free turkey meal, please send an email to castlegardencenter@verizon.net

Please leave a name, phone number and number of meals. Distribution will be Wednesday, November 24th from 9:00am to noon. 

Drive-up, no contact is available. Any proceeds through donations will go to three area food banks at local churches. 

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