Restaurants give back by serving meals to Honolulu’s homeless

Dozens of Honolulu’s homeless were treated to not one, but two delicious meals Thursday.

Both Ruby Tuesday Hawaii and Chef Chai served up meals at the Institute for Human Services in Iwilei.

IHS was one of 10 homeless sites Ruby Tuesday Hawaii provided turkey lunches at as part of its 3rd annual Giving Thanks program.

“What I felt was during the holiday seasons, and Thanksgiving kind of starts it up, everyone tends to be very generous, and give to the needy, and open up their wallets,” said Rick Nakashima, Ruby Tuesday Hawaii partner. “Well I felt like six months out, if we did it now, a lot of the food banks need help, a lot of the soup kitchens need help, so I thought what a great time if we can do it now, call it Giving Thanks instead of Thanksgiving, and I really love that this thing keeps growing.”

Separate from the Giving Thanks program, Chef Chai restaurant offered meals that showcased fresh fish caught and donated by the Waialua Boat Club.

“They had a fish tournament. They caught like 1,700 pounds of fish, which was donated for us to cook today,” said Jy Chaowasaree. “It’s very fresh and it’s special. The sauce, everything that we’ve been using, cooking, and serving with the guests at the restaurant, so we’re doing the same thing (here at IHS) to serve them with the same sauce and same kind of ingredients, a special family recipe that we’ve been carrying on for a long time.”

“These homeless people here are eating great fish and they have our great turkey tonight, so it’s really a special day in that. Normally I feel so good about just our turkey being here, but they get a lot today,” Nakashima said.

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