Montreal Restaurant Promises To Feed Anyone Who’s Hungry

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A restaurant in Montreal is doing its part to ensure that no one in the city goes hungry. Marché Restaurant Ferdous, a Middle Eastern restaurant, has been offering food to people whether they can pay or not, standing by its motto: “Everyone deserves to eat, no questions asked.”

A few months ago after noticing several homeless people lingering nearby asking for food and spare change, restaurant owners posted a sign in both English and French that read: “People with no money welcome to eat free.”

“People sometimes come here, you have no idea by their look that they need the food and they’re shy or they don’t believe in such things,” explains co-owner Yahya Hashemi, a native of Iran. “So we told the cook, ‘Don’t ask any questions; do not judge them.’ If they ask, just give them the food, that’s it, that’s all.”

Lentil soup, chicken shawarma, and other Middle Eastern dishes are all made available, with four or five people who would otherwise go hungry eating at the restaurant on a daily basis.

“It doesn’t matter, because at night if you still have leftover food you end up throwing it out, so why not give to those in need? It’s not a big deal,” says the restaurant’s chef, Abdelkader Bejaoui.

Hashemi says that helping the needy is part of his Muslim faith, as well as a way to give back to the people of Canada for all the country has given him. He looks at the cost of the meals as just another business expense.

Marché Restaurant Ferdous offering free meals to those in need has inspired some of their customers to contribute to the cause. “They come here, they donate $20, $30, $50 Cdn and they say, ‘Okay, the next few people are on me,'” Hashemi shares.

The hope is that the policy of giving food to those who need it will inspire other restaurants in Montreal and all over the world to do the same. Co-owner Ala Amiry calls the policy “a small gesture that we hope can make people in a difficult situation feel a bit better.”