Tickets for pre-paid orders of clam chowder and poutine were among those on a board at Bancroft restaurant For the Halibut Fish & Chips on Thursday.
Anyone who needed the food, but didn’t have the money to pay for it, was welcome to take one.
Owner Natasha Alves hopes the concept of restaurants making extra orders, and advertising them on social media, will become a viral trend, given the rising cost of living.
Earlier this week, Alves noticed a Pembroke restaurant was providing the service and publicizing it on social media. She began doing the same and, almost instantly, had customers paying for meals for the board, and community members eager to receive them.
“We have people who are on the streets or in tent city; they’re obviously in need,” she says. “But there’s also a lot of individuals in our community who have an affordability issue. They’re on a fixed income, or their income just isn’t enough.”
Tracy McGibbon, of McG’s Cakes on Main, was doing the same on Thursday, having also noticed the trend.
She said, as a downtown business owner, she’s aware of poverty issues and, for the past year, has been providing free food to those in need, when able to.
She hopes a trend of local businesses doing whatever they can to address poverty will pick up.
“I think you’re going to see more of our local businesses helping out,” she says. “It might not be restaurants providing food, but it could be stores providing other things that they can use to help, such as mitts, hats, coats, anything.”
Both business owners say they will continue to make extra food. They also encourage customers to pay for extra orders that they can add to the boards.