Feed it forward movement comes to Creemore
When Lori Judzinski learned of a “feed it forward” program that was gaining traction in the region, she immediately knew it would be a perfect fit for her pizzeria, Creemore Pizza Co.
She has adopted the FIFE4LIFE program and is hoping others will too as a way of allowing people access to food in a dignified and non-judgemental way.
FIFE4LIFE is an acronym for Feed it Forward Everyone – Live in Freedom Everywhere. The program was created by Alliston resident Pamela Stewart and has grown to include Angus, Stayner, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, and now Creemore.
The concept is simple. Customers pay for an extra meal at participating restaurants and the receipt is posted on a designated FIFE4LIFE board. Anyone wanting to accept the meal grabs the receipt and exchanges it for the food. There are no questions asked.
“It’s an amazing program,” said Judzinski, who has already been paying it forward whenever possible.
She said she has had customers who couldn’t quite pay the bill or who have been purchasing meals for families in need.
“We don’t always know who needs help and now, with the pandemic, there are all kinds of people who need help,” said Judzinski, “It breaks my heart.”
She said her business has been well supported during the past year. Creemore Pizza Co. has been open every day since the first lockdown last March and has made the take-out model work. Judzinski said business has actually doubled this past year and this program is another way that she can pay it forward.
“There has already been a lot of paying it forward, so this really fits with the way I try to run my business,” said Judzinski. “And we have people in this community who have the funds and want to help but they don’t know how.”
The FIFE4LIFE program makes it clear. When people see the symbol on the door of a restaurant they will get to know that they can either get a meal or pay for a meal.
Judzinski is offering a pizza special for the program to make it super simple for people to make a purchase and she is printing them out on gift receipts so that anyone claiming a meal can make a choice based on preference and not worry about the price.
“They can either feed themselves, or feed their whole family, without the stigma of having to explain, and knowing there are people out there who want to help,” said Judzinski.
“I’m hoping more restaurants will participate,” she said. “Really, it doesn’t cost us anything.”