Instead of waiting in his car for volunteers to load up a free Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, Aaron Wright got out, helped lift heavy boxes of food, and looked for the man who made it all possible.

Instead of waiting in his car for volunteers to load up a free Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, Aaron Wright got out, helped lift heavy boxes of food, and looked for the man who made it all possible.

When he found him in the crowd of volunteers, Wright shook the hand of local businessman Matt Jehn, who donated money to buy turkey and fixings for 100 needy Worthington families.

"Thank you so much, and God bless you," Wright said to Jehn.

Wright was recently laid off from his job as a supervisor at Value Place. Without the generosity of Jehn and the volunteers at the Worthington Food Pantry and Resource Center, he and his wife and 4-year-old Aaron Jr. might not have had a Thanksgiving dinner this year.

"These are the best people in the world," Wright said as he watched volunteers load up 100 cars with food last Saturday afternoon.

Each family received a frozen turkey, stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, cans of vegetables, yams, canned cranberries, Jello, a pie, and whipped topping.

It was all paid for by Jehn, a Colonial Hills resident who owns Royal Oak Financial Group.

He was driving by the food pantry at 445 E. Granville Road a few weeks ago and decided to stop in to see what is was all about. When he learned there were no plans to provide Thanksgiving meals for those who need help putting food on the table, he decided to do something.

He offered to pay for 100 meals if the food pantry volunteers would order the food. They did, and distributed vouchers to the pantry clients, who stopped by for their dinners on Saturday.

"The moment moved me, I just wanted to do something more," Jehn said. "I couldn't imagine a family sitting home without a Thanksgiving dinner."

He brought Braden, 6, and Avery, 4, to help on Saturday. Wife Jill helped as well, and the experience made the holidays more meaningful for the whole family, he said.

In fact, Jehn plans to do it again. Next year, he told the Food Pantry volunteers, they can count on him to again pick up the tab.

"It feels good to be able to do something," Jehn said. "This is a gift for us."

Local markets pitched in with bargains for the Thanksgiving dinners. Hills Market provided the turkeys at wholesale.

And the many volunteers pulled it all together.

As for Wright, he will continue to look for work, and will help out at the food pantry in the meantime. On Saturday, he signed up to help haul food in his pick-up truck, and to help however he can at the pantry.

He said appreciates not only the food his family receives, but the upbeat attitude of the volunteers he has met. He said he looks in their eyes and knows that times will get better.

"It means the world," Wright said.