NEW ELLENTON, SC (WRDW/WAGT) – Atomic City Cafe in New Ellenton held a Thanksgiving feast that lasted all evening.
We were there for the food and the company.
Owner Daphne Simpkins says growing up, she didn’t have much, but watching her family continue to give back inspired her at a young age.
When she took ownership of the cafe, she set out to impact her community in an even bigger way.
“We didn’t have much, and I know I can’t save the whole world, you know, it’s one person at a time with me, but if I can help someone, it’s worth it to me,” she said.
Simpkins decided to do this for the New Ellenton community and more.
“As you know, it started with the coat machine. And then we ended up, I said, you know what, let’s do a free Thanksgiving meal,” she said.
Days before, Simpkins and her crew spent countless hours in the kitchen preparing a warm meal for anyone in need.
“On Tuesday we made all the sweets. On Wednesday, which was yesterday, we made lots of greens, so much macaroni and cheese, macaroni, green bean casserole and gravy with and without meat…mashed potatoes. This morning I arrived here at six o’clock. I fried five turkeys,” she said.
This meal served hot at no cost makes a difference in the lives of people like Joe Bush.
“I’ve seen the fact that you know, some people don’t have places where they can afford a meal. And for some reason, I think God spoke to Daphne’s heart,” he said.
Bush says his family is all over the place and he had planned to spend Thanksgiving alone until she called.
“My family doesn’t cook today. “When Daphne invited me to come today, it was an honor,” Bush said.
Her servant’s heart goes beyond cooking free meals.
“I meet a lot of new people. And like I said, I help them a lot. You know, we have clothes and coats. When it starts to die down completely, almost to a standstill, we’re going to pack everything up and I’m going to go right down to the nursing home on 278 and give it all to them,” Simpkins said.
For him, Thanksgiving is about blessing others.
“It makes me feel so good to know that no one will go hungry. You can date and be part of a family even if you don’t have a family. When you walk out the door, we’re going to treat you like one,” she said.
In 2021, seventy-five people came. This year, she served more than 100 dishes in the first three hours.
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