Paying for another person’s food is an act of kindness that many people participate in. Whether it’s buying food for a homeless person, donating groceries to a food bank or taking a meal to a family that’s struggling, food is one of the most tangible ways we can show we care for someone.
But those instances are pretty clear-cut: There’s a giver, there’s a receiver, and it generally ends there. But in some cases, people pay it forward immediately after experiencing a bit of kindness themselves.
That’s what happened at Taco Sombrero in Gulfport, Mississippi, on July 6 when a total of 79 people paid for the meal of the person behind them, either in part or in full.
“Faith in Humanity Restored as one customer put it!” Taco Sombrero shared on Facebook. “Pay it forward … Our customers are amazing.”
The tally of giving customers is impressive, and it even surprised employees.
“At first, I was kind of shocked,” drive-thru cashier Makenna Morgan told WXXV-TV, “because we were thinking like five cars maybe, and then it just kept going and we were like ‘Whoa.’ And then one guy paid for a $40 order and I was like ‘Whoa, some people are really nice.'”
Of course, the employees got to see the joy first-hand when a new customer would pull up and learn the person in front of them had helped pay for their meal.
“[They were] just like ‘Oh my gosh, are you serious?’ I was like ‘Yeah,’ and they were like ‘Okay I wanna put five dollars behind us or can I just go ahead and pay for theirs,” Morgan explained.
“At first we were kind of shocked because we thought we would get through a few, but when we got to like 50 we were like ‘Okay this is getting real, let’s see if we can keep it going.'”
The owner of the fast-food joint, Vicki Parkhill, saw the Facebook post and thanked the restaurant’s kind customers.
“It was just overwhelming,” she said. “We just really appreciate it. We get to see, you know, our customers pay it forward, but not like yesterday.”
“You know, one car after another after another, the customers — you know, 80, you know 79 to 80 people, that was wonderful. We’re very thankful to our customers 100 percent.”
The acts of kindness went on for a total of two hours before petering out. But who knows — maybe now there will be a challenge to set a new record.
“In a World where you can be anything Be Kind … we thank you … Each and every customer!” Taco Sombrero shared the next day.
“We ? our Customers! We hope this story will lift one up and inspired to find their own way to pay it forward!”
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