ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An iconic diner in downtown Albuquerque is spreading joy this Thanksgiving by handing out hundreds of free Thanksgiving meals to anyone who came in. People flocked in and out of Lindy’s Diner throughout the morning and afternoon for Thanksgiving meals.

This has become quite a tradition for this well-known restaurant. This year marks almost a decade of giving back to the community. Hundreds of plates of the classic Thanksgiving meal were served up Thursday in Lindy’s Diner. “It started out as for the homeless. But people who are just hungry come or who just want a free meal come. It’s a community thing,” says Alex Gianopoulos, family member who was helping out at the diner.

Gianopoulos says they started doing this in honor of their grandmother who passed away. “It’s all about love. It’s all about community.”

To get everyone served Thursday, Lindy’s had some extra help from UNM student athletes. “It means a lot to me just because there’s a lot of people who have been through a lot and especially with the pandemic there’s a lot of things going on so being able to come out and feed the less fortunate is really beneficial and supportive,” says Tavian Combs, who plays football for UNM.

Folks coming in certainly were thankful. “It means happiness and being together without no harshness or nothing,” says Soce, who came to get a Thanksgiving meal.

“The Albuquerque community has been very supportive of the homeless population this year. And it’s wonderful to see that,” Corinne Marquez, who came to get a Thanksgiving meal.

While the future for Lindy’s Diner is uncertain after the building went up for sale earlier this year, “As long as Lindy’s will be here, there’ll be Thanksgiving at Lindy’s,” Gianopoulos says. Lindy’s Diner has been in downtown Albuquerque since 1929. This is their seventh year of giving away Thanksgiving meals.