FOR the second year in a row, the owners of Ipswich restaurant Memories of India are determined to make sure nobody has to eat alone at Christmas.
The CBD restaurant has promised community members who are living on the street free meals for an entire week.
Staff will serve up plates of piping hot curry free of charge to those in need, with a different recipe on offer each day.
Co-owner Aman Sharma said after last year’s turnout, he wanted to make it a tradition.
“We want to do this so they don’t have to be alone during this period,” Mr Sharma said.
“We want to make them feel special.”
Last Christmas, more than 250 diners ate complimentary meals at the restaurant during a seven-day period.
“Some days we saw 50 and others 30 or 35 people,” he said.
Although Christmas Day itself was the quietest, more than 80 diners turned up for a free meal on Christmas Eve, including those dining in and taking away.
This year, Mr Sharma expects to see more thanks to the power of word of mouth.
“This time more people know about it because word is spreading,” he said.
“I’m expecting more like 300 or 400 people this year.”
Thanks to generous community members, the restaurant was also able to give Christmas gifts to diners who arrived for a meal last year.
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Mr Sharma hopes to repeat the offer, provided gifts are donated again.
“We ask the community to drop off gifts, if they want,” he said.
“So we can give them out to homeless people and less fortunate people.”
Mr Sharma said, since opening in September, 2018, the community had rallied behind the restaurant.
“I feel blessed to be able to serve the community because they’re always supporting us,” Mr Sharma said.
“We like to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.”
Free hot food is on offer for anyone living on the street between 7.30pm and 9pm from December 21 until December 27.
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.