Shepparton restaurant owner and philanthropist offering free takeaway food to jobless

By Ed McLeish

Shepparton restaurant owner and philanthropist Azem Elmaz is giving out free meals to those facing financial hardship as COVID-19 hits the local economy.

Mr Elmaz, who owns Lutfiye’s Shish Kebab on Wyndham St, said if he had adequate food supply, he would give people “doing it tough” free meals.

“As long as we’ve got supply, we’ll run this initiative,” he said.

“As the coronavirus outbreak continues, it has created a lot of anxiety and stress.

“During the past week, there has been significant job losses — this is a very difficult time for businesses and families.

“We would like to extend our support to families and the elderly during this difficult time.”

Mr Elmaz recently installed a shower and toilet facility at the back of his kebab café for the homeless to use.

He said his café not only supported the homeless, but also the entire community during times of hardship.

“It's the Australian way to help people during hard times; we’re all in this together,” he said.

“We will remain open for takeaway only until we are unable.

“God bless Australia and the world.”

Mr Elmaz said there were several people wanting to donate items for the homeless and jobless in Shepparton.

“If you were wanting to help, we are currently needing paper cups, coffee, long-life milk, sugar, biscuits and toilet paper — which is hard to find,” he said.

“You can drop them in our shop.”

Call Azem and Jeihan Elmaz on 0413 897 209 for food inquiries.

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