Cherokee County

Woodstock restaurant owner marks two years providing free meals to families in need

CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA — Vingenzo’s in Woodstock’s Chef Michael Bologna says the best advice he ever got came from his dad.

“I’ll never forget. He said if you stay in the food business, you’ll never be rich. But you’ll always have food on the table for your family.”

For the last two years, he has helped families that did not have that. His restaurant in downtown Woodstock stepped up to help a community in need.

“It was right at the height of COVID. We didn’t know how long it would last, or who would need it, or what the demand would be,” Assistant City Manager Coty Thigpen said.

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The chef teamed up with the city and a string of local churches to provide free hot meals —13,000 and counting to this point.

“You see some hurt. You see people who are lonely. You see families that are struggling,” First Baptist Woodstock’s Doug Whitney said.

Chef Bologna has been cooking since he was seven years old.


He decorates his restaurant with drawings courtesy of his youngest customers, and he’s determined to keep helping folks who are struggling.

“As long as the good Lord says I’m here on earth. That’s the way I look at it,” Bologna said.

He hopes more local restaurants will be able to join this effort.

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