Give the gift of food through a donation to “Dinner is for Everyone”


A conversation with Jon Young, co-owner of Big Lake Cabin on Queen Street East, shows another way that the Sault can be known for more than some of the issues that have recently been discussed.  With the launch of “Dinner is for Everyone”, now in its third year, another example of the compassion within our community–the network of support that comes forward to assist those in need, is highlighted.

Partnering with YNCU and Grocer 4 Good, Big Lake Cabin and their “Dinner is for Everyone” initiative has gained exposure and donations, all in support of those in need.  The aim of this important project is to provide free dinner to those individuals who may be experiencing difficulties during the holiday season.

For Amanda Richards and Jon Young, the Owners of Big Lake Cabin — a high end restaurant located in Sault Ste. Marie — starting “Dinner is for Everyone” in 2019 was a way to take fine dining beyond the wealthy to everyone.

“At that time, we asked the community to nominate people who were going through a difficult time or who had been known to do good for others, and we invited them for a free three course dinner on the house,” says Amanda Richards. “We also secretly purchased Christmas groceries and presents for kids for some of the families. It felt incredible … and truly in line with the spirit of the holidays.”

As with so many other events, restrictions that accompanied the pandemic did force Big Lake Cabin had to change the initiative in 2020. They decided to give members of the community the opportunity to sponsor a holiday meal for a person in need, or someone they knew who would be alone during the holiday lockdown. For every two meals sponsored by people in the community, Big Lake Cabin would offer a third to someone in need.

YNCU offered Big Lake Cabin use of its free e-commerce platform, Shop Your Neighbourhood, to make it easy for those in the community to make a donation.

“In the spirit of giving, we are happy to support such a noble initiative by Big Lake Cabin and Grocer 4 Good again this year,”  says John Ziccarelli, Director of Credit and Business Services. “We certainly encourage community members to offer a helping hand to their neighbours and provide someone in need with a delicious holiday meal.”

The call for support ahead of the 2021 “Dinner is for Everyone” is now open. For $25, members of the community can sponsor a holiday dinner for someone in need. For every two dinners sponsored, Big Lake Cabin and Grocer 4 Good will donate a third. On December 22, 2021, Big Lake Cabin will deliver the turkey dinners, inclusive of fixings and dessert.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to YNCU, who went above and beyond to support this initiative,” says Richards. “Supporting, promoting and creating a page for “Dinner is for Everyone” on the “Shop Your Neighbourhood” platform to accept payments and organize delivery addresses is such an enormous help to us, and it’s so heartwarming to have a local financial institution really step up in such huge ways.”

To donate to “Dinner is for Everyone”, please visit

As this is the last push to support this endeavour, the community is still invited to make donations and also to nominate families in need.  Jon Young further added that they will accept individuals who nominate themselves, recognizing that not all people have a network that will recognize their need for assistance.

Be a part of what makes our community great this season–make your donation today!