DC restaurateur holds annual Thanksgiving turkey fry to support those facing food insecurity

DC restaurateur holds annual Thanksgiving turkey fry to support those facing food insecurity

Mark Bucher, the owner of Medium Rare, is actively engaged in community service during the holiday season. As a restaurateur, he and his staff are preparing and deep-frying turkeys for free to support the community.

Since 2007, Bucher has organized an annual event involving the distribution of 3,000 senior meals and a free turkey fry. The initiative, which started due to Bucher’s concern about the fire hazards associated with turkey frying at home, has grown each year.

The group, comprising approximately 50 volunteers, typically fries around 600 turkeys, often for families facing financial difficulties. In 2020, they fried thousands of turkeys at Nationals Park.

This year, they anticipate frying about 600 turkeys, renting 20 fryers and utilizing 200 gallons of fryer oil. The team offers to fry anyone’s turkey for free, provided it is thawed and weighs between 8 to 10 pounds. Participants are encouraged to make a small donation to Bucher’s nonprofit, Feed the Fridge, which provides daily meals to food-insecure families in the D.C. region.

Bucher shared a touching moment from the first Thanksgiving event when a family from a nearby shelter left a thank-you note on his car, expressing gratitude for providing them with a Thanksgiving meal they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

In addition to the turkey fry event, Bucher’s nonprofit continues another holiday tradition by partnering with DoorDash to feed seniors in the area. Feed the Fridge, launched during the early days of the pandemic, has expanded to include refrigerators in over 30 locations in D.C.

Medium Rare’s turkey fry will take place on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the restaurant’s Cleveland Park location in D.C. at 3500 Connecticut Avenue.