KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - For those who really need it, there is such a thing as a free lunch. A New Orleans-style restaurant in Kilgore gives customers the chance to pay it forward by buying lunch for a future customer who may need a little help.
The idea came from the owners' grandmother who used to cook up extra dinner to feed hungry people in their neighborhood.
2 Brother's Po-Boy Shop has only been around about a month, and owner Joshua Fahrenholt is serving up a little something different with their menu of something different.
"Customers can leave a little post card, whatever donation they would like to leave, and then we take that and anybody who's homeless or hungry or down on times can come in, retrieve a postcard, and we feed them," Fahrenholt, whose brother Hunter is involved in the restaurant, as well, said.
The idea came from their grandmother, which is explained on the back of their menu.
"She'd cook big pots of gumbo or red beans and rice and jambalaya. And what she would do is she would feed the homeless in the neighborhood. Anybody in the neighborhood that wanted to eat, they knew if they went to Marie's house, they ate," Fahrenholt recalled.
Fahrenholt's mother escaped to Kilgore from Hurricane Katrina, but he worked for the Coast Guard in New Orleans, so he stayed, but eventually he moved to Kilgore himself to help his mother with her business. He wasn't there long when he realized something.
"If I wasn't eating Pizza or Mexican, chances are I wasn't eating," Fahrenholt said.
He missed the food he grew up on, so he thought he'd change that. He got together with his brother Hunter, and they came up with a plan.
"Bring that here to a city that's taken care of my family, and in an effort to give back, help them by bringing something to downtown Kilgore," Fahrenholt stated.
He feels like negativity needs to be turned around, and everyone can do something. The restaurant donates lunches to shelters and non-profit groups attaching donation cards to help others pay it forward to those who are down on their luck.
"They need some encouragement, just a good vibe, just a good it's going to be okay, brother. You're going to make it," Fahrenholt said.
Fahrenholt says there is a slight problem with the postcards. He thinks people are too proud to just walk in and take the free lunch. He says he's open to suggestions to make the whole system flow a little better.
"If you need something to eat, by all means, don't be shy, don't be offended, come in. Nobody goes hungry here at 2 Brothers, man. We don't believe in that," Fahrenholt added.
"Everybody's been so great to us that it's been a real blessing," Fahrenholt said.
This Saturday, July 16, part of 2 Brother's proceeds is going to help the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, which aids families of Dallas officers critically injured or killed in the line of duty. Joshua and Hunter will have postcards on hand for anyone who would like to write a note to send the families of the fallen.