This Soup Shop Has 6,000 Prepaid Meals for the Homeless

Pay it forward and fill an empty stomach.

Nov 23, 2016
The Soup Place in Melbourne has enough pre-paid meals to feed 6,000 people. (Humans of Melbourne/Facebook)

The Soup Place in Melbourne has enough pre-paid meals to feed 6,000 people. (Humans of Melbourne/Facebook)

Would you pay a little extra for your food if you knew you could feed a person living on the street? This concept is the innovative business model of The Soup Place in Melbourne, Australia. The eatery's co-owner, George Paraskevopoulos, said he got the idea when he was in New York and saw a pizza place that gave customers the option to buy an extra slice that would go to a homeless person.

At The Soup Place, customers pay $7.50 for a full-priced bowl, and can opt to add an extra $3.50 to their bill to buy another bowl for someone less fortunate than them. The initiative was extremely well received and a  little over a year after starting the project in March 2015, Paraskevopoulos and his partner have served well over 6,000 meals to people living on the streets of Melbourne. The restaurant’s walls are covered in pre-paid post-it notes and Paraskevopoulos says they have enough tickets to keep feeding their regular homeless customers for six months.

Faced with the question of how he can make sure that nobody takes advantage of the system, Paraskevopoulos has a purely empathetic and simple answer. The shop operates on pure trust, having made a conscious decision that they don’t want to make people’s already difficult situations even harder. “They get to eat like we do, when they’re hungry, from 7 in the morning until 7 in the evening,” Paraskevopoulos says.

Similar initiatives have popped up all over the world, continuing this truly amazing trend of paying-it-forward.

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DAVID RUHM, FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.