A restaurateur is giving away leftover food to homeless people after his own experiences of living on the street for two weeks.
Ashish Sood moved to Brisbane in 2007 to study hospitality and commercial cooking with the dream of opening his own restaurant.
The 33-year-old – who arrived with a student visa and nowhere to go – was forced to rough it in a park for two weeks.
Sood has never forgotten his experiences of living on the streets and decided to use his restaurant’s success to help others, ABC reported.
When the Brisbane CBD restaurant, Ginger and Garlic, closes at 10.30pm staff give away remaining food to local homeless people.
This has occurred every day of the week for the past five months.
‘We’ve got so many people homeless, I have eight to nine people I see regularly. I want more, if there are more homeless people I’m happy to feed them, all of them,’ Mr Sood said.
Mr Sood said that he knows the names of his regular visitors and most of his homeless customers are men and some are women with children.
He said he felt bad about wasting the food and is proud to give the visitors whatever food they like.
Paying customers have also supported Mr Sood’s endeavour to feed the homeless.
‘People are so happy. They’ve giving me thumbs up … they’re helping me to keep doing more. I’m really happy about it,’ he said.
Drop-in centre 3rd Space Brisbane CEO Sara Harrup said that Mr Sood was providing more than food – he is assisting in bridging the gap and connecting the community.
‘The food is a great way of supporting people, it’s also a wonderful way to build relationships with people,’ she said.
Ms Harrup said that homeless people are often isolated because of social stigma where people assume they’re drug and alcohol abusers.
In March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that homelessness in Australia had increased by 14 per cent in the past five years.