Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney administers the oath of office to newly elected City Councilman Julio Rodriguez.
It’s been a tradition for Nasser Jouhar for 32 years.
The longtime restaurant owner sets aside Thanksgiving Day to distribute free holiday dinners to anyone who walks through his doors. This year, for instance, Jouhar and his staff at Jenny’s Family Restaurant served 500 people turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing and gravy and a fruit medley of oranges, apples and bananas.
Assisting him were 20 volunteers; 20 others who wanted to help out were turned away.
“This is a great City, people here are full of community spirit and it’s a place with a small-town friendly atmosphere,” he said.
Perris officials honored the business on Dec. 11, presenting a certificate of recognition to restaurant owner Jouhar and his staff in
“appreciation for their excellent community involvement” for providing
meals to the public at Thanksgiving.
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez (right) stands with Jenny’s Family Restaurant owner Nasser Jouhar and server Beth Endfinger. Rodriguez volunteered to help serve free Thanksgiving meals at the restaurant.
Manager Corrie Uren accepted the award from Mayor Daryl Busch.
Jouhar said he is grateful to the Perris community for making his business a success. He’s been in Perris for five years and previously owned restaurants in Azusa, the City of Industry, Whittier and San Bernardino.
“It’s the least we can do,” he said. “There is no other way to express the gratitude for what we have. To see smiling faces leaving the restaurant after a nice meal makes you feel good.”
Jouhar said the process of feeding multitudes on Thanksgiving begins three days earlier when the turkeys go into the over. This year, he roasted 71 birds. Restaurant staff also cooked 150 pounds of potatoes, 10 huge trays of dressing and enough gravy to cover every plate.
Thanksgiving Day was a blur, as it always is.
Jouhar spent the hours choreographing his staff and community volunteers, making sure the customers—who included the homeless, lonely and families who just wanted to eat dinner without having to clean dishes—were fed in a timely manner.
Waitress Beth Enfinger was one of the crew who get the production line moving. This year marked the fifth time she helped make Thanksgiving special for Jenny’s patrons.
“It’s a nice feeling to be able to help,” she said.
Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez and his youngster sister, Karina, also helped out on Thanksgiving.
“It is important to give back to the community and not take for granted everything we have,” he said. “Jenny’s is an exemplary example of the great businesses we have in the City of Perris. I am so grateful they are here.”