Community helps downtown deli pay it forward

The pending meal program at Vick's Corner Deli (Photo courtesy of Byron from @do.good.candles)

A sandwich shop in Sarnia’s downtown is doing its part to assist those in need.

Vick’s Corner Deli has launched a “pending meal” program, helped along by generous donations from the community.

Anyone needing a fresh soup and sandwich can take a post-it note off the wall and get it for free, no questions asked.

Owner Brian Vickery said the pay it forward initiative has been popular in cities like New York and Philadelphia.

“It kind of started the other day when I was out for a walk and saw a couple living in a tent in one of the parks here in town,” said Vickery. “A couple of minutes after that, I ran into someone that recognized me from the deli. She offered me $20 and said that if I saw someone downtown that was cold and hungry to buy them lunch. We have kind of built on that and ran with it.”

Vickery said they’ve been able to help out about a dozen people so far and he hopes to keep the program running on a permanent basis.

He said the word is quickly spreading.

“We have reached out to some of the organizations in town like the Inn of the Good Shepherd, River City Vineyard, and Women’s Interval Home. I know there are also a lot of people reaching out to let people know as well. We’ve actually had some church groups offer to bring us hats and mitts and blankets to put in the deli so that if someone comes here and needs it, they can grab it.”

You can call 519-704-0530 to pre-purchase a meal, or you can drop off a donation.

Vick’s Corner Deli is located at Christina and Cromwell Streets, and is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.