December 12, 2015 - 8:30 AM
KAMLOOPS – The owner of two local pizza shops has created a program to help those who might otherwise go hungry this holiday season.
Rocky Hunter, who owns the two Domino's Pizza locations in Kamloops, will exchange tokens for two slices of pizza. Anyone can purchase a token for $2.25 plus tax and give it to whomever they choose.
“It’s good for two slices of pepperoni but if they want to substitute it for ham or something we’re not going to turn them down,” Hunter says. He hopes to initiate the same program at his Salmon Arm and Cranbrook locations.
Hunter first came across that idea on social media when he read about a coffee shop in Europe. When patrons bought a coffee they could purchase an additional cup that would go in the books as a free beverage. Anyone who couldn’t afford a cup or even those without proper change could receive a free coffee from a stranger.
He tried the program at his Kamloops Domino’s locations but found it didn’t run as smoothly as expected. He says not only was it difficult to turn people away when a pizza wasn’t available, but sometimes people became belligerent with his staff.
“I thought a token would be much simpler and easier,” Hunter says.
Not only does he envision the program will help the less fortunate, but thinks the tokens will make great Christmas gifts. He says a business owner could hand out tokens to their employees, or a teacher to their students.
Hunter plans on keeping the token program past Christmas and "for as long as I own the Domino’s." His hope it is implemented across the chain nationally.
In addition to this newest charitable endeavour, Hunter regularly uses his pizzas to give back to the community.
This Christmas he has donated 1,500 free 10-inch pepperoni pizza coupons to Christmas Amalgamated hampers and provides a 12-inch pepperoni pizza coupon to every Snow Angel volunteer who shovels a driveway during the winter in the city.
All year round Hunter donates pizzas to Salvation Army, SPCA and Kamloops Hospice volunteers and the Boys and Girls Club movie nights as often as twice a month. He also hosts a pizza night at the New Life Community Kamloops every Monday that feeds roughly 120 people.
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