Amid rising inflation and skyrocketing food prices, one restaurant in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood has graciously decided to launch a charitable initiative that offers free meals to those in need.
Samaira’s Kitchen, located at 1056 Queen St. E., is a small family-owned restaurant that’s known for its create-your-own pizzas, burgers, calzones, and panzerotti.
Since Nov. 6, locals in the neighbourhood have begun to notice dozens of free meal tickets posted on the restaurant’s storefront with the note, “If you are hungry and have no money these meals have been paid for in advance.”
The restaurant’s owner, Chef Rajish, told blogTO that there were many factors behind why the business decided to launch the initiative.
“Right now, if you look around, there’s a food crisis. People are barely able to put one meal on the table for themselves,” Rajish explained.
“Also with the inflation and food prices, there’s so many reasons. People are not able to pay rent.”
Despite the initiative only launching last Monday, the restaurant has already been able to provide 250 meals for those in need, despite operating with a limited number of staff members and supplies.
After being posted on a local community Facebook page, the initiative was enough to bring some residents to tears, with others asking how they could contribute to the cause.
“First of all, the food is terrific. The pizza is the best in the neighbourhood. But now I’m even more impressed to hear about their generous spirit,” one person wrote.
“Samaria’s is the best! We’ve been ordering from there for years. Such friendly owners, and I’m heartened to see this give back to those in need,” another customer said.
For those who want to contribute to the initiative, Chef Rajish says a pay-it-forward meal can be purchased on-site at the restaurant, with the ticket then being posted on the storefront for someone in need to claim.