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Gourmet food for homeless shelters

More than a gift of food
Posted at 8:39 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 23:39:53-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Often homeless people may wonder where their next meal is coming from. But the Spirit of Southern Arizona sometimes means homeless people can find gourmet food on their menu.

At a homeless shelter you’d expect meals to be pretty basic but thanks to generosity and determination, people living at two shelters got gourmet food Friday.

The Sister Jose Women's Center gives women a place to get off the street. Now they’re getting a delivery of a very special meal. It comes from Feast Restaurant on Speedway. Owner Doug Levy says when the pandemic began, he started donating meals to medical workers, first responders and homeless shelters.

He says his restaurant patrons donate the cost of about 80 percent of the meals and he covers 20 percent.

Sister Jose CEO Jean Fedigan says the special food feeds more than just hunger.

“You hear them go, ‘Wow. Look at this. I've never had this. I've never, it’s been so long since I've had whatever it is’. It just means so much. It's a gift. It truly is a gift not only is it a gift of food, but it's a gift that makes them feel special.”

The Primavera Men’s Shelter is also getting food from Feast this day. Shelter manager Ramon Gutierrez says residents make sure they’re at dinner when Doug Levy and his staff are making the food.

“Sometimes they’ll miss lunch and be ready for dinner. We have that happen a lot here with these guys because he always brings an abundance of food to help out with our Foundation. So we’re very appreciative of that.”

We’ve withheld the menu long enough, It’s Asian Chicken Salad, and some tempting desserts. Besides the Chicken Salad, Primavera Men’s Shelter will have lasagna too.

Doug Levy says helping the community has helped Feast too. While COVID drove many restaurants out of business. The donations that helped him bring food where it’s needed kept his kitchen busy and his staff employed.

“We are lucky to have remained in business throughout this and we have the community to thank for it. And so we're continuing to sort of spread it out and share with the community ourselves.”

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.