The sign says, “People with no money welcome to eat free,” in both English and French. The restaurant’s owner, Yahya Hashemi, says they’ve been serving free meals to people for the past five months or so.
Located next to a church, Marché Ferdous, which serves Mediterranean food, is often frequented by people who are short on cash. Yahya came up with the idea after he realized that people in the area were consistently asking him for spare change for food. Instead of giving them change, he realized he could just offer free food from his restaurant for anyone who needed it.
When Sean Jalbert, 23, visited the restaurant one evening, he couldn’t believe what he read on the sign — so he decided to test it. As he ordered his food, he said he couldn’t pay for it. The staff told him that was fine, and asked him what he would like to eat.
Shocked at the restaurant’s generosity, Sean shared his experience on Facebook, where people have been praising the restaurant and its owners.
And Yahya fully expects his own generosity to be paid forward. Already, people who have money to spare have been ordering meals and offering to pay for other people’s meals as well.
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