Restaurant Owners Offer Free Food To Those In Need

It’s been an incredibly difficult time for the restaurant industry in Toronto as they face another lockdown. Some small businesses have been forced to close and others are struggling to get by. Thousands of hospitality workers have been laid off in what would normally be the busiest time of year.

Despite their own hardships and challenges, there are many people in the industry who are stepping up to give back to those in need, like Stephanie Lo, owner of Mama Lo’s Bakery & Kitchen in Maple.

Lo drives once a week to Toronto to give 50 boxes of free food to people living in encampments throughout the city. Lo’s desire to help others comes from her own struggle, growing up in a single-mother household.

“When I was younger, I always thought of wanting to give back anything because when we hit rock bottom, a lot of our friends, a lot of people came forward to help us," said Lo in article with YorkRegion.

Lo is currently raising money to provide 1,000 meals to the encampments in Toronto over the holidays.

“It's time to work together to help each other out. We have that responsibility as humans to do so for one another,” said Lo.

One Toronto restaurant owner is offering free meals to anyone who’s recently been laid off because of the pandemic, no questions asked.

Posting the news to Facebook, Chris Murie of The Dizzy, wrote:

"For now, I still have my business and I still have a way to make a living. I realize that many of you are going through some really terrible times. Truth is, I'm not sure if we will survive this next lockdown but, I remain optimistic. I wish I could offer all of you a job or a lifeline but, sadly I cannot. What I can do is offer you a hot meal and a positive experience. To anyone who has been recently laid off, please consider my offer."

Murie told blogTo that he has already had a few people take him up on his offer and he only imagine he will get more requests as the lockdown persists.

"If things get too busy, I may have to do batches of food for these folks," said Murie in an article with blogTO. "I can't imagine having my ability to provide for my family taken away from me. Must be just devastating."

Another Toronto restaurant, Farmhouse Tavern, is giving back by delivering meals to a local charity dedicated to supporting refugees in the city.

Each week, Farmhouse Tavern owner Nancy Thornhill, delivers meals to four different refugee families from Romero House.

She said that while many in the industry are struggling, she's fortunate enough to be able to volunteer her meals out-of-pocket. She said that its "imperative" that she give where she can.

"Even though it's a task in ingenuity and creativity to keep my doors open, I'm still not struggling to eat every day," she said in an article with blogTO. "We’re the lucky ones and we need to share."

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