Richmond restaurant offers free lunch meals for frontline workers

They say there is no such thing as a free lunch, but a Richmond-based restaurant begs to differ.

Dolar Shop, a Chinese hot pot eatery located at Lansdowne Centre, is giving away lunch boxes to Richmondites who are having to work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

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Health care workers, postal workers, grocery store and bank employees and seniors will be given priority, according to Charles Hu, managing director of Dolar Shop in Canada.

The give-away will happen between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday at the Dolar Shop where people are asked to queue up outside, while maintaining social distancing.

Hu has met many employees from Lansdowne and surrounding areas who are still required to come out to work every day.

"I can't imagine the stress that they are facing right now. My heart goes out to these workers," said Hu.

Hu will also drive around Richmond to deliver free meals to the community’s most vulnerable people, including the homeless.

"Some people have been living on the streets for many years, and it's not comfortable for them to walk into the mall. But I also want to ensure that they can be taken care of. I don't want them to feel they've been left out."

The free lunch special will be different every day, said Hu, noting that the latest bento box featured stewed beef brisket with carrots and Tofu stir fry in hot sauce.

And on top of each lunch box sits an excerpt from an ancient Chinese poem, "A thousand streams to the one moon, they sing; Myriad homes all re-vitalized by spring."

Hu said he hopes the poem can raise people’s spirits and help them get through this challenging time.

"We are all in this together, even if we can't hold hands or hug each other now. Come on, Canada," said Hu.

Free lunch boxes are available in limited quantities and will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis every day.


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