An Auckland restaurant that’s being praised for offering free food to people in need has a long history of giving.
“I knew at least five or six people would wait outside for closing time to see if people left any orders behind that they could take.
“I asked them, why you wait? Some people feel they can’t ask in front of customers. I kept in my mind that it is not fair.”
Mr Mohammed noticed when he opened his new premises on Sandringham Rd, people no longer waited outside – so he installed a self-serve cabinet.
“They can take cabinet from food and leave; No need to wait in queue, no need to feel shame in front of other people. I feel happy that I got some space for the cabinet in my place.”
Mr Mohammed says he has 10-12 regulars, and others popping in too, but fears he soon won’t be able to keep up with demand. However, helping hands are stepping in.
“When customers come in and see the cabinet they say they want to help. At the moment I can give away 30 – 40 boxes a day, but if [demand] gets bigger in the future I’ve taken 20 phone numbers I can call for help for more food.
“Maybe in future if I can’t help them all then we can call them.”
Mr Mohammed says it’s a trait he learns from his father, who also used to own a food store and give away any left spare.
“I remember those days when I do it now. For me it was my dream to help, like my father did, so I’m very happy that at least some people are there taking the food.
“I can see they’re very happy.”