HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A sign on a Henrico business has caught the eye of people in the community and warmed their hearts.
BOSNA Market & Deli on West Broad Street has a sign posted to its door that says, "Attention! If you are hungry and don't have money, we will give you free lunch and you can pay us back whenever you can, if you want. We believe that in the 21st Century no one should be hungry."
"I always have extra food," said Sabit Selimovic, the owner of the deli. "Why would I throw away that food when I can help somebody. I see a lot of people walk here."
Selimovic knows first-hand what hunger looks like.
"I was in the war in Bosnia," he said. "I'm from Bosnia and when the war started I had a son, who was 1-month-old, and there wasn't any food. No candy, no anything."
For nearly three years, Selimovic has had the sign posted to the door of his business.
He said he's seen a variety of different people come in asking for help.
"Every day I have somebody come, sometimes two to three days nobody comes," Selimovic said. "I'm really happy because I helped somebody. Many customers just open the door and say hi and thank you for the sign."
Tim McDermott, chief development officer of FeedMore, said there are more than 45,000 people in the Richmond area who are dealing with hunger and 8,000 of those are children.
"It's wonderful," McDermott said. "It's wonderful certainly for the people who are hungry, but it's also wonderful for the visibility that it brings to the issue of hunger."
He said there are plenty of companies who donate their time and resources to the cause, but added it is unusual for a business to offer help in such a direct manner.
"It's always wonderful to see an additional business come to the forefront like that and take a really proactive stance," McDermott said.
Selimovic was featured in NBC12's restaurant report in February of 2017 when he earned a Hall of Fame award for earning perfect scores on the stores last three health inspections.
But beyond having a sanitary business, his customers have also noticed the sign in front and posted on social media to share their thanks.
"Any business that's prepared to help not only themselves but people in need will always have my full support and respect," said one customer.
"I haven't eaten here, but it is beautiful that you offer meals to people who cannot afford it in the moment with the ability to pay you back when they can," said another person on Facebook. "Thank you!"
Selimovic said he gets on average 10 people per week who come in for a meal. He added he's not looking for charity, just focused on helping the people in the community he's lived in for 18 years.
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