Local pizzeria gives back to those who need a warm meal one slice at a time
[Aug. 18, 2020: Joshua Shavit]
Along with a growing list of restaurants in New Orleans, a local pizzeria is giving a helping hand to people struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic.
When any customer buys a meal for themselves, they can also purchase a slice of pie for whoever needs it. No questions asked. It's their own version of a "Pay It Forward Slice Program". Some patrons have even called in to donate without even buying a meal for themselves. Their receipts are taped on a wall documenting the community's generosity.
"I feel good about it," said owner Jim Fite. "But you know, I'm not doing it so I feel good or for good karma, it's what needs to be done." "It might just be a meal to me, but to them it may be the only thing they eat all day," Moore said.
"How do you look at today's world and not feel like there's some way you have to help? And if you don't then I have to ask you, what are you doing?" Fite asked.
The concept is popping up in other places around town, including at Shawarma On the Go Uptown.
Pizzeria NOLA just started offering free slices this last Friday night. Since then they have already raised close to $700. "Oh that's 200 slices easy, that's 200 meals I can give to somebody," Fite said.
"It makes me happy people have a place to come get food when they can't afford it," Moore said.
Like these kind of stories? Get The Brighter Side of News' newsletter.
When can we learn?
With so much uncertainty these days, this small pizzeria on St. Charles Avenue is doing what they can to help by filling people's stomachs and hearts with kindness.
"These aren't just anybody, they're our friends, they're our family and neighbors, they're our cousins and the guy you pass on the street," Fite said. "If the government won't help us we have to help ourselves and here in New Orleans I feel like it's a huge part of the culture of this city."
Next time you visit your favorite restaurant, ask if you can pay forward a meal for someone else. Maybe it's a homeless person down the street or simply someone coming in without enough money to pay their bill. You'll feel better for it while making someone else's day during hard times.