Salamanca Hometown Rent to Own to give out 100 free Thanksgiving feasts

Matthew Radecki (left) and Christopher Fiegl will be handing out free “Thanksgiving Feasts” to 100 people from their business Hometown Rent to Own on Friday, Nov. 22 from 4-6 p.m. The store is located at 203 Center St. in Salamanca.

SALAMANCA — Thanksgiving is a time of giving, sharing and building community relationships.

With that in mind, Matthew Radecki and Christopher Fiegl will be handing out 100 free “Thanksgiving Feasts” from their business, Hometown Rent to Own, on Friday, Nov. 22 from 4-6 p.m. at 203 Center St.

Radecki said people are not required to be a customer to participate. Everyone is welcome. He said there will be a table full of food items to choose from and people will receive a gift card to redeem at Sander’s Parkview where they can pick up their turkey.

New this year is a drawing for a $100 VISA gift card and a $50 VISA gift card. A local radio station will be broadcasting during the event that day.

According to Radecki, this is their fourth year of handing out free Thanksgiving dinners. He said they’ve partnered with Sander’s Parkview, and the store has helped them out by selling them the food at cost.

“We want to help as many people as we can,” Fiegl said. “If we run out of food items, we’ll get more from Parkview to be sure people don’t go without.”

Radecki said anybody in the area communities can come in for the event, without obligation, and take food home to enjoy for Thanksgiving. If someone knows of an individual or family in need, they can pick up dinner and take it to them. It could be for a friend, a neighbor or somebody else.

“There are many people in the area who might be in need, and we want to make sure nobody is going without, especially this time of year,” he said. “This is a difficult time with Christmas coming up because people are saving for that holiday and they also have other bills to pay. Thanksgiving dinner can get expensive and some people don’t have the extra funds.”

Radecki said when they first opened up for business, they wanted to be all about the community that took care of them. In turn, they thought why not give back to the people who have given them the opportunity to serve them in the community.

The future is looking good for Radecki and Fiegl. Radecki said a second store is in the works in Gowanda. He said it’s in early development and they just completed their business plan. They are hoping to close on it within the next six months.

“As we continue to grow our operation, we are hoping this second location will also be a Western New York thing and inspire other people to give back,” he said. “As we expand, we’re hoping our Thanksgiving event gets bigger and bigger every year — whether it’s two stores, three or four. We want to give away 100 meals at every store location we’re at.”

The two became co-owners of Hometown Rent to Own five years ago after becoming friends while they were working for a competitor. Radecki was Fiegl’s district supervisor when he was the manager of a store in Salamanca.

“There are risks in any business, but we were given a great opportunity from our mentors, Randy and Laura Otander, of Ashville, who are responsible for helping us get our business going,” Radecki said. “If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be feeding the community, annually.”

According to Radecki, during their first year in 2015, their business was featured in a national magazine, “RTOHQ: The Magazine,” the official voice of the rent-to-own industry.

“At Hometown Rent to Own, we try to make houses into homes and keep families together by doing this every year,” he said. “As long as we’re here, we’ll do this event for years to come. When we expand to other territories, we’ll do it there as well.”

Fiegel said this event is not about them, but for the community. He said it’s very touching when somebody comes to him and thanks him for what they are doing. It makes him know they are doing something good.

For more information, call 265-2080 or visit Hometown Rent to Own on Facebook.

(Contact press reporter Deb Everts at salpressdeb@gmail.com)