The Nineteenth owner Florio Vassilakais (left) and chef James Varghese (right) gave a $600 donation for the local food bank to Deb McIntosh. Submitted photo

Castlegar restaurant passes generous tip on to food bank

The owner of The Nineteenth restaurant decided the best place for a tip that big was those in need

In a pay-it-forward moment, an overly-generous tip at a local restaurant has turned into a nice gift for Castlegar’s Community Harvest Food Bank.

After a regular customer of The Nineteenth, who is known for his generosity, was offered a free breakfast as a thank you, he decided he would say thank you back with a super-sized tip for the restaurant’s owner Florio Vassilakakis and his chef James Varghese.

“We didn’t want to accept it, he didn’t want to take it back,” said Vassilakakis. “So we decided to give it to the food bank, to people who actually need it.”

“We need to think about the food bank and people in need, not just at Christmas, but all year long,” added Vassilakakis.

Food bank manager Deb McIntosh was thrilled with the $600 donation.

She also emphasized the continual need for supporting vulnerable members of the community, not just with food, but with housing needs as well.

“The Nineteenth and the Vasillakais family understand the importance of our programming — especially around housing. When someone donates $600, that’s just about enough to pay for one month’s rent for the emergency shelter.”

RELATED: The Nineteenth wins People’s Choice award at art gallery fundraiser

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