Central Texas restaurant offers free meals, no questions asked
La Riv in Temple, like many local businesses, is struggling to survive under restrictions that limit it to takeout orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the owner is putting the community first, offering free meals to anyone who asks.
"Nobody is coming to my restaurant (and) I'm still sitting on marinara sauce that I made yesterday and I still have dry pasta," owner Vira Chudasma said.
Chudasma says she wants to give back to the community that has supported her three businesses for seven years.
"The community backs me up at a good time and I have a kitchen full of supplies,” she said.
“Why would I not cook?"
She posted the offer for free pasta meals on social media, and was immediately overwhelmed with requests.
"We were shocked that here we are we have no business, but then there's this dire need," Chudasma said.
The restaurant filled 150 orders in the first two hours after making the offer, from single mothers who weren’t able to explain to their children that spaghetti wasn’t available at the store to families needing to feed 10 or more people.
A local resident who did not want to be identified said the meals showed her how much good is still in the world.
"We were shocked that here we are we have no business but then there's this dire need."
Anyone who needs a hot meal is able to call the restaurant and ask, no questions asked.
La Riv is offering takeout, grocery items, meal kits to make at home and wine-to-go for those who are able to purchase meals.