Oak Park Restaurant Helps Customers Help The Homeless

(CBS) — One west suburban restaurant has come up with a unique way of giving free meals to the homeless.

Veronica Ciobotaru, who owns Delia’s Restaurant in Oak Park, started something called “suspended coffee” as a way to help Oak Park’s homeless population.

Diners can pay and extra $3 when paying their bill. When they do, a plastic token is placed in a ceramic jar on the counter. Then Monday through Wednesday, homeless people can come in to get free meals.

The homeless line up in the morning, and each gets a token. When the tokens are gone, so are the meals. But Ciobotaru says customers and those in need love the program.

Customers redeeming the tokens get coffee, pancakes, eggs, soup or pastries.

Ciobotaru says she hopes more restaurants start something like this. Too often people do nothing or just offer a hand out, she says, whereas her system gets customers involved in helping the homeless.

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