In need of food? Just knock – Edmonton restaurant offers free meals

Click to play video: 'Edmonton restaurant gains international attention for deciding to help those in need'
Edmonton restaurant gains international attention for deciding to help those in need
WATCH ABOVE: A local restaurant is gaining international attention after making a decision to help those in need. Located downtown, Indian Fusion is a small, family-run eatery but as Sarah Kraus explains, a kind gesture is expanding its reach – Apr 24, 2016

EDMONTON – An Edmonton restaurant is gaining international attention for its efforts to help feed those in need.

Indian Fusion is located downtown, in the Oliver neighbourhood. The small, family-run restaurant has fewer than ten tables, but it’s making a big difference for the homeless.

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Two years ago, owner Parkash Chhibber saw a few people digging through the trash bins outside his restaurant. He offered them a meal – anytime.

They started coming regularly – so when all of a sudden they disappeared, the family missed them.

So Chhibber decided to invite others to eat, as well.

“I decided with my family, why not put up a sign in case anybody is passing by hungry, jobless or needy in any way? We are fortunate to have a lot of food inside.”

With a simple knock at the door, the hungry are served their choice of freshly made meals.

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Thanks to social media, the idea went viral and has since been shared in England, China, Ireland and India. It was also shared widely on Reddit.

“Ever since it got noticed, all around the world now we can say, we’re a little bit more busy. We are very, very happy,” Chhibber said.

After all the publicity, sometimes a dozen people show up in one day – but the family isn’t worried about how the free meals will impact their bottom line.

“I have a supply from somewhere else, God is supplying us,” he explained, saying he takes each knock as a blessing.

Chhibber immigrated to Canada 10 years ago and said back in India, offering food is the cultural norm.

The Pyra’s came to Indian Fusion because they saw good reviews about the food online, but soon learned about the restaurant’s good deeds.

“I think it’s something that we don’t see enough of today. It’s kind of inspiring that they’re doing something like that for people in need,” said Evan.

His father echoed the sentiment.

“We would want to come back because they’re giving back to the community, it’s part of community spirit. We need to all look after each other,” said Greg Pyra. “It’s not just about profit and making money.”

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Patricia To heard about Indian Fusion’s free food signs and came to the restaurant with her family specifically to help.

“I thought it was amazing and I wanted to support it and thought that we’d come in, try their food and provide some of their revenue so they can cover expenses for people who can’t pay.”

Humble as ever, Chhibber said the gesture is the least his family can do.

“We have a duty to give something back to the community we belong to,” he said. “I’m not doing anything big.”


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