Why a pizza shop in Ohio is throwing a free Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless.

On most days, Bada Bing! Pizzeria in Springfield, Ohio, simply cranks out the garlic knots and calzones (to great Yelp reviews). But this Thanksgiving, it's taking on a different role: as a refuge for people in need.

"A lot of people, just like myself, we don't really see what's going on in the community when it comes to homelessness and poverty," Bada Bing! owner Jason Hague told Upworthy. "A lot of us just go to Walmart or the mall to go shopping and we just don't see the plight of others that are in need."

Hague had already planned to host a Thanksgiving dinner in the shop for his friends, family, and members of his staff who didn't have anywhere else to go when he thought:


Why not invite local homeless and hungry people too?

In order to make sure word got around, Hague put this sign in the window:

Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.

"I wanted to put the sign on the door just to let people know, 'Hey, we're closed, but we're here as well, so if you want to come in, stop in, we got a seat for you," Hague said.

The photo quickly went viral in the community — and around the Internet.

As of the time of publication, the photo of the sign had been shared over 5,000 times on Facebook.

"Come dinnertime last night, we were just so inundated with not just customers, but people just coming in that wanted to help out and donate their time, services, or money to helping out with this cause," Hague said.

According to Hague, one customer — an elementary school-aged kid — has even offered to perform magic tricks at dinner.

Hague's plan to invite the homeless and hungry to Thanksgiving was a big hit with the pizzeria's staff as well.

Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.

"I think it's absolutely amazing," Michelle Butler, an employee of the pizzeria, told Upworthy. According to Butler, when Hague announced the Thanksgiving plan, many on staff immediately volunteered to pitch in.

"I donated four turkeys. We went from three turkeys to seven turkeys," Butler said. She plans to make them all tonight.

Though Hague is a little nervous about being overwhelmed with people, he's grateful for the amazing support of his staff and customers. Initially, he had enough food for 15 people, but after all the attention the post received, he went back to the grocery store and purchased 100 servings of turkey and all the trimmings.

Bada Bing! is one of a number of restaurants reaching out to those less fortunate.

Hague with a Springfield local outside Bada Bing! Photo by Bada Bing! Pizzeria/Facebook, used with permission.

Restaurants like Rosa's Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia have received a ton of attention and praise for allowing customers to "pay it forward" by purchasing pizza slices for the needy for $1 each. Back in April, the owner of P.B. Jams in Oklahoma City left a note for a person digging through their trash inviting them in for a free meal.

The thing they all have in common? The desire to treat homeless and hungry people not as objects to be afraid of, but as fellow members of the community who might be down on their luck and in need of a hand.

"Even if we're able to feed just one family, I'm OK with that," Hague said.

It's a sentiment that the Bada Bing! staff shares.

"A lot of people don't have families to go to, and there's a lot of homeless here in Springfield," Butler said. "I think it'll bring people together and just be a special time."

For Hague, that's exactly what the holiday is supposed to be.

"Thanksgiving is one of those days that you want to spend time with your family and friends, but it's also a time to give thanks for what you have, and we've been very blessed here," Hague said. "So if we're able to bless someone else by giving them hope, then that makes me feel good."

"That's my holiday."

More
True
CNBC's The Profit

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

Keep Reading Show less
Recommended
via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

Keep Reading Show less
More

Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture