Pay it forward food program expands to Orangeville

April 21, 2022   ·   1 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A program aimed at combatting food insecurity has recently expanded to Orangeville.

FIFE4LIFE, which stands for Feed It Forward Everyone… Live in Freedom Everywhere, helps residents who can’t afford food to still have a warm, freshly cooked meal as needed.

The way the program works is participating restaurants have a FIFE4LIFE poster board set up indoors where receipts are posted of menu items that were purchased as a donation to those in need.

Those accessing the program take a receipt off the menu, hand it to a waitress, and then the meal is cooked and given to them, no questions asked.

“I think the restaurants really like the idea of helping their local people in need,” said Pamela Stewart, creator of FIFE4LIFE. “It just seems to be a really simple program that is easy to understand, and it doesn’t put any money out of their pocket.”

There are six restaurants in Orangeville currently participating: Angel’s Diner, Domino’s Pizza, Townline Fish and Chips, Pizza Hut, Boston Pizza, and Quesada Burritos & Tacos.

Stewart started the program in New Tecumseth in March of 2020 and since then has expanded to Barrie, Collingwood, and Bradford.

At the start of April this year, she expanded it to Orangeville.

Stewart said when she first started the program, the idea behind it was to support homeless people, since a lot of the time they don’t have access to a kitchen or ways of preparing food that they would pick up at a food bank.

The scope of the program has since broadened, with many people struggling to make ends meet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has coincided with record levels of inflation at the gas pump and grocery store.

FIFE4LIFE also supports participating restaurants, as they sell extra meals through the program that wouldn’t have otherwise be purchased.

Buying a meal and posting its receipt on a FIFE4LIFE board is also seen as a more direct way of helping feed people, Stewart noted. She said when you give a $5 or $10 bill to a person on the street, you have no control over how that’s money spent. Whereas, with the FIFE4LIFE program, all of the money donated is directly used to feed people in need.

“It just makes you feel really good to know that you are actually feeding people that have no other way of getting food. It really blesses your heart and motivates you to want to do more,” said Stewart.

Going forward, she said she’s hoping to expand the program to Orillia and Midland. Stewart added that eventually she’d like to get out into North Bay as well as the Ottawa area.

There’s one restaurant in the U.S currently participating.

Stewart said she’s hoping to get buy-in from head offices of chain restaurants in Ontario or Canada so that the program can run at all their locations, speeding up the process of expanding the program. So far, she hasn’t been able to achieve this at a wide scale, but hopes to as the program gains popularity.

Any restaurant that would like to join the FIFE4LIFE program can reach out to Stewart at and get involved.

“It doesn’t cost anything and it’s a win-win,” she noted. “If they’re interested, they can get in touch with me, and I will get them set up with this as early as convenient for both of us.”

Readers Comments (1)

  1. Bridgette says:

    Currently going through homelessness from domestic abuse & wondering how I can get a meal at any of the places listed, that would be wonderful, I can be reached at 705-500-5833 anytime


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