Anyone who is homeless, has fallen on hard times, is a senior or veteran, and is hungry can get a free burger (which just so happens to be one of the best in the city) from a Toronto restaurant right now.
Fearless Meat owner David Brown has considered helping those in need to be part of his duty as a neighbourhood burger purveyor and butcher since he opened the restaurant three years ago, even before COVID-19 increased the need for resources for those experiencing food insecurity.
“I come from humble beginnings and remember when all the other neighbourhood kids went to the ice cream truck except me because my parents couldn’t afford it. Now I give out free kiddie cones to all the kids in the neighbourhood with no purchase required,” Brown told blogTO.
“Butchers have a long tradition of giving back to their communities. In the days before food banks, butchers were the local food banks. I have been a butcher for almost 50 years and its a tradition I have always taken very seriously.”
Vegan Dole Whip is available for free as a dairy-free alternative to ice cream, and Fearless Meat also offers Reunion Island coffee and free ice cream to war veterans and their spouses, first responders (police, fire, ambulance) and front line hospital staff.
“I want people to know that they can depend on Fearless Meat to help them in time of crisis. I hope what I am doing will be an inspiration to get other restaurants and businesses to help out their communities,” says Brown.
“I want to do this in a way that people feel welcomed and respected when they come into Fearless Meat for a free burger. We owe so much to our veterans and their spouses. I really appreciate all they have done for us.”
The free burger is their 6oz Certified Angus Beach Burger, which normally costs $5.99, comes on an Ace bun and is topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayo and ketchup.
“The response from the community has been hugely positive for what I am doing,” says Brown. “We have frequent lineups for the free kiddie cones in the summer. For the free burgers, slow but steady all the way up to almost overwhelming on occasion.”
Fearless Meat was even open on Christmas and Boxing Day offering free burgers. Many commenters on Brown’s online posts on the Fearless Meat Facebook page say they want to support his business and order from the restaurant after seeing his acts of generosity.