This Man Hosts A Free Thanksgiving Dinner Every Year For People Who Don't Want To Be Alone

November 20, 2018

Every Thanksgiving Scott Macaulay cooks dinner for strangers in his hometown of Melrose, Massachusetts. He's been doing it for the past 33 years.

Scott Macaulay Thanksgiving
Scott Macaulay / Credit: Melrose Free Press

It began in 1985, when Macaulay was faced with his first Thanksgiving alone after his parents divorced. He didn't want to eat alone and he knew there had to be others in similar situations.

So, Macaulay took out an ad in the local paper, asking 12 strangers to join him for Thanksgiving dinner.

"I knew that I couldn't be the only one in this situation," he said. "There had to be at least a dozen people out there who didn't want to spend Thanksgiving Day alone."

And he was right.

"I bought all the stuff and made everything myself at my church," he told People. "And it was such a great Thanksgiving that I made a decision right there to keep it up."


Since those 12 strangers gathered around the table for turkey 33 years ago, Macaulay has made his free Thanksgiving feast an annual event, inviting anyone to make a reservation by calling his office phone number that's printed in the local paper.

Macaulay, now 57, says he feeds around 70 people every year. He organizes, pays for, cooks, and serves, almost all of it by himself.

"One year, a man who'd just lost his wife put on her apron and helped do the dishes," Macaulay said. "That's what this is all about. It's not about the food. It's about being together. Nobody should have to eat Thanksgiving dinner alone."

One of Macaulay's favorite memories is of a woman who hadn't been out of her nursing home in seven years, but decided to pay $200 for an ambulance to take her to his Thanksgiving feast after she saw his annual newspaper ad.

"They brought her in on a hospital bed, all decked out, and she cried when the dinner was over," he recalled. "She didn't want to go home."

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