Serving Up Cheer with Holiday Express

Local restaurants will be helping to serve up needed meals to go with holiday cheer this season, lending their support to Holiday Express.

Salt Creek Grille of Rumson, Joe Leone’s of Point Pleasant, MerriMakers Catering of Edison, McLoone’s of Long Branch, Asbury Park and West Orange, The Windmill of Long Branch, and Jersey Mike’s of Point Pleasant will be donating an estimated 3,800 hot cooked meals along with thousands of subs and hot dogs that will be delivered by Holiday Express to the many homeless and rehabilitation centers that the non-profit organization visits during the holiday season.

Holiday Express, best known by many for its rockin’ band, does much more than bring music to those they visit. “The band gets the most attention, because we make the most noise,” said Holiday Express founder and keyboard player Tim McLoone.

However, thanks to generous donations from local restaurants, Holiday Express is able to deliver delicious, full-course lunches and dinners to those who often can’t afford one.

“Tim is such a good friend and he’s done so much for people in need during the holidays, so it’s really a no-brainer when it comes to helping Holiday Express,” said Steve Bidgood, co-owner of Salt Creek Grille in Rumson. The restaurant will be preparing and donating its popular ziti dish with a hearty bolognese sauce – one of the favorite dishes on the private dining menu – plus salad and bread and butter for an event at Catholic Charities’ Housing Services in Jersey City for 275 guests and at Eva’s Village in Paterson for 350 guests. Salt Creek Grille is also sending staff members to help with the serving. “When you see how happy and appreciative these folks are to experience a great holiday event and great food, it is extremely rewarding,” adds Mr. Bidgood.

Holiday dishes with all the fixings will also be served at Straight and Narrow in Paterson, Joseph’s House in Camden, St. Francis in Philadelphia, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen, and Covenant House in Newark, Trinity Church Soup Kitchen in Asbury Park, and Medallion Behavioral Health in Clifton.

This year, Holiday Express, comprised of more than 1,500 volunteers, including 100 musicians, kicks off its 22nd season on November 12 and will travel to a record-setting 68 locations, delivering music, food, gifts, financial support, and friendship to those in need.

For more information about Holiday Express, please visit www.holidayexpress.org or call 732-544-8010.