This Heroic Texas Restaurant Fed 500+ Needy People During the Power Outage


Inspiration | By Bruce Bridges | February 28, 2021

Electrical power isn’t something to be taken for granted. It is the only reason certain places are even inhabitable. It practically controls every aspect of our lives, not that people pre-electric power didn’t live full lives, we have come to be completely dependent on it. What would you do if the power went out right now?

Many people wouldn’t be able to do their work, or the basic functions in their lives like pay bills since much of that is done online. I hope you have candles laying around as well. Once the sun sets, there won’t be anything to provide light for your nighttime reading. That's because Netflix is out the window.

Those might be humorous issues when it comes to losing power, but it can also be tremendously serious. The intense winter storms that struck Texas go to show just how vital power is, as people were left without food or heat for days. That’s why one restaurant stepped up to help those in need.

Bella Italia Ristorante in Plano, Texas

This is a story about community. We all have that favorite restaurant of ours in town, but did you ever think about how much that restaurant loves you? The owner of a restaurant in Texas was able to show his community just how much he loves them after the winter storms in Texas left many in deep trouble.

Bella Italia Ristorante is a restaurant in Plano Texas. They were able to feed 500 people in one day! These people were unable to have a hot meal after days of being stuck in the cold, so it was much appreciated. This was all the work of Ari and Blinera Isufaj and their staff of five who prepared all the meals of lasagna and spaghetti for their community. How? They use gas stoves, so they were able to keep those ovens going despite the power loss.

It was All Fate

Ari Isufaj spoke with TODAY and said, "I had multiple people sending photos from home saying it's their first hot meal in three days. People were saying, 'Thank you so much, that's so thoughtful.' It was just amazing. We just wanted to do something and give people some comfort food." The winter storms in Texas were nothing short of a disaster. Stores got wiped out of supplies, and the few restaurants that could provide take-out were swamped.

Since the Isufajs also lost power and live so close to their restaurant, they went there on a Tuesday morning to warm up by the pizza ovens. "I just thought, 'We are having to come to our own restaurant just to warm up and cook, imagine what other people are going through. That's when the idea came about to just cook for people who are going through such a tough time."

It Comes Full Circle

The family had already provided almost a hundred meals to a nearby church that was set up as a warming center. That Wednesday, he served 508 free meals. A local woman commented on their facebook, saying, "Ari, you are the best example I know of 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' You and your staff are amazing. When it is safe to go out, I will be ordering your wonderful food.”

The Isufaj family’s entire life is in the restaurant, so when Covid came, they thought their restaurant would be done for good. Fortunately, the community had come together to continue and support Bella Italia and they were able to stay in business. Because of this, Ari Isufaj felt like it was only right that he give back to his community. If that isn't good karma, I don't know what is.

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