Video & Photos: Line Forms At Free Food Event

November 19, 2014

[Over 800 people served, updated with video + photos]

With 30 more minutes until the doors open, a line has already formed outside the Four Star location in Flatts today [Nov 19], as locals flock to take advantage of “Free Food Wednesday.”

Four Star previously announced that they will be holding “Free Food Wednesday” today at their Flatts location from 4pm to 6pm, saying that “while the primary goal is to provide free food and beverages to persons in need, all are welcome.”

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A spokesperson said, “Four Four Star family along with the help and generous donations from our vendors Butterfield & Vallis, Barritts, and Rich’s will be hosting ‘Free Food Wednesday’.

“Persons coming to Free Food Wednesday, should show up at Four Star in Flatts where meals will be provided from 4pm to 6pm, or until supplies last.

“During this giveaway, Four Star in Flatts will be open only for the purpose of the free food giveaway. All delivery orders will begin again after the event ends at 6pm.

People will receive one or more of pizza, sandwiches, flatbreads, desserts or Coca-Cola, Four Star said.

Update 4.32pm: Speaking just before the doors opened, Marico Thomas said, “Today is ‘Free Food Wednesday’ and  we’ve partnered with some of our food vendors to provide food to those in need, and people that might be hungry; whether they be hungry today, this hour, this week, or even this month.

“We’re not going to judge. We are choosing to open up our doors, open up our fridges, open up our bakery in the back, and we are going to give free food. It’s really a simple thing.

“We’ve got people lined up. We closed our business down at 2.00pm or 2.30pm today and we started preparing.

“We have pizzas, we have sandwiches, we have drinks, we’ve got cake, we’ve got cookies, we’ve got beverages – we’ve got a whole bunch of stuff for people; we could feed at least 1,000 people today.

“I’m not sure how many are in line, but it’s a couple of hundred already and it’s not even 4.00pm,” Mr. Thomas added. “It’s a wonderful day – I was a little concerned about the rain, but we’ve got hundreds of people coming out and Flatts looks a little different today.”

Update 9.07pm: Four Star President Marico Thomas said, “Free Food Wednesday was conceived as means to give back to the community and to support those in need. Four Star is in the business of serving lots of people, and we can handle a lot….., but WOW!

“When we closed our doors at 2:30pm to prepare, people were already in line from 2:15. By 4pm, the line had snaked around the front of the building, through our car park and down the street towards St Georges. We were thinking…. Ok it’s on!

“By 4:45, we had served at least 500 people, with each person receiving hot food, a piece of cake and a cookie or other dessert, and a coke or other beverage.

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“The crowd was hospitable, well behaved and organized. That said, there was indeed a crowd. Lots of people, lots of traffic and lots of onlookers. Flatts hasn’t seen that much action in a while!

“By 5:15, a second wave occurred. Mother Nature was perfect. No showers, but there was a tiny sprinkle to keep us all cool.

“By 6pm we had served over 800 people. It was a terrific experience. People in line expressed all sorts of gratitude. Personally, I experienced children of all ages saying “Thank you”, adults sharing hugs, peers giving hand-shakes accompanied by deep looks from their eye into mine.

“There were those persons who made me slow down and in fact stop so that they could share the story of their circumstance which caused them to come. There were others who wanted me know the depth of significance this event had to them.., or their family.

“There was our staff – over 15 people, all smiling, happy and having heart-felt moments themselves, living this experience in their own way. There were the volunteers, and business partners, and past employees (one proudly in her Four Star Pizza corduroy cap from the late 1990’s!).

“Today was an experience in the joy of giving. Did we have to work fast – yup. Did we have to work hard – yup. But it was FUN …and rewarding. Tonight, each one of us, whether amongst the crowd, in the kitchens, behind the counters, or behind the scenes, tonight, each one of us will be going home with a great story to tell. What we did, and how it made us feel.

“For me, it felt good. Really good.

“My heartfelt thanks to our partners – Butterfield and Vallis, Rich’s and Barritts for their support. My deep gratitude to our staff and volunteers. My appreciation to the Bermuda Police Service for swinging by. And my applause to those persons able to put pride aside and have the courage to receive our gift in a public venue.

“I think I feel the adrenaline wearing off. Tonight, I’m going to have a good sleep!”

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Comments (70)

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  1. Terry says:

    LOL.

  2. Starting point says:

    meanwhile, supervisors, bosses and even a few employees I imagine across Bermuda are saying, “where did so and so go?”

  3. Frank says:

    And the purpose is what exactly? A cheap promotional ploy to get people to buy more fast food? Like we don’t already have enough health issues on this Island due to poor diet! Come on Thomas family you can do better than that!

    • TickTockBda says:

      Frank stop being such a BOO… they are giving back to the community because there are people who are really in need. People always have something negative to say.

      • Terry says:

        Tomorrow All resturants in Hamilton will be giving out free food from 5pm-7pm.
        Be sure to stop buy.
        The workers will be looking forward to your tips to help rais and pay bills.

    • shassell says:

      @Frank = A-****

    • Thanks says:

      I think its a great idea. So what if it also promotes there business. We all need to do things like this to help our fellow man.

    • Andrew Paul Scaife says:

      Frank, wise up Brotha!!!…..Mr.Thomas and the connection he has with his Vendors and Wholesale counterparts are doing something good for “OUR community” Bless Up Bermuda……well done Mr.Thomas!!!! ….

      • sebring says:

        Hey scaife! I agree with you ! frank take break maybe next time mr thomas would pick unemployed people from hisfree pizza line and train to flip dough in his already fully bermudian staffed bussines eliminating the need for hand outs good work !

        • Tough Love says:

          Fully Bermudian? I must be assuming things from the video.

    • Cisco says:

      Well Frank,

      It’s all up to you, whether you want to participate or not,this is a choice of the people,if it’s not fast food you eat leave it alone.. you are probably doing something less healthy as well… think about it…
      and move on..

  4. Cardine Alice says:

    Well done. Nice gesture. And hopefully those of us who don’t need it will not exploit the service. And if it’s a good advert so be it. I will certainly support a group that does this kind of thing.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      i dont know about you but i dont see ONE HOMELESS or DESPERATE SOUL there, so of course the offer is being exploited.

      • Sky Pilot says:

        I drove past there a few times…I could not agree with you more!

        • Ian says:

          Pfft.. Like you two could even start to relate with the folks in that line and their individual situations…

      • RME says:

        Don’t judge or be so quick to jump to conclusions. You’d be surprised who is homeless in this island. You’d NEVER know by looking at them on the outside because they go to great lengths to hide it.
        And on the flip side, pride may keep may keep truly “desperate” people from turning out. So many folk don’t want others to know that they are going through stuff, so they don’t reach out and suffer in silence. We need to quit making assumptions about people we don’t know!

  5. haha says:

    Half of those people aink even in need…if students got uniforms and back packs, etc. smh should just offer a big discount on certain days!

    • RME says:

      To play devil’s advocate: Students may have gotten their backpack from the Caine’s back to school drive. Schools help with uniforms for those in need. Or you don’t know what kind of home they come from – there may NOT be food on the table every evening.
      Just saying: Don’t judge ANYONE in line. Just because they “look good” on the outside does not mean that they may not genuinely be in need. Folks are very good at hiding that kind of stuff.

  6. GTA says:

    Perhaps donating the food to a homeless shelter, or the salvation army would suit better for those in need. As oppose to the general public, I doubt you would see these lines if the food was being given out at the appropriate location.

  7. Sky Pilot says:

    wonder where all the SUV’s parked?

    • Kangoocar says:

      @sky pilot, BRILLIANT!!! Reminds me of the Esso Staion in Warwick a few years back with their free gas thing!!! There was SUVS lined up past the middle school to get there free gas??? Looking at the pics it is easy to tell that once again a nice gesture is being abused!!! There is nobody that I can see from there clothes and body mass that REALLY needs this free food??? Would have been better if Four Star took the their show on the road and gave this food to those that really need it!!! All those lined up there should be ashamed of themselves!!!!

      • Ian says:

        And I bet if one of the front street good ole boys were doing it you’d be patting them on the back til kingdom come…

        • Kangoocar says:

          As usual you are wrong, your youth and inexperience in this world is the reason why!! Be patient as the years go by you will look back at this time of your life and realize what an I.d.i.o.t you were on most things!!! By the way, how did the pizza taste??

        • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

          stop hating ian…you and the likes of you only want to be part of the oligarchy that you proclaim to despise…you have your life now live it…stop worrying about what you have no control over.

      • Hurricane says:

        Don’t judge a book by its cover!

      • Tough Love says:

        Wait so people with big cars shouldn’t get help to get free gas? Isn’t it like $100 to fill up those cars. Wouldn’t some of them need the help?

        • Kangoocar says:

          @tough love, you are not serious are you??? All I can tell you is, if someone falls on hard times they should sell that BIG SUV and get a more economical car!!! Or be like those of us that actually could easily afford those cars but choose to drive a B class car that costs very little to liscense and insure and the gas and maintenance is way less!!! I can’t beleive I actually had to tell you that???

  8. ABC says:

    people dat reaaly need lol

    alot i saw preety bikes preety expensive shoes more like a services then givin 2 de peeps that reaaly need it

    yes my english is bad no shame in it

    ¬

  9. D says:

    It was very tastey

  10. Hurricane says:

    Well, call me a cynic, but with what they charge for some dough with toppings, I’m anything but impressed. They should be able to do this every Wednesday.

    • Free is good says:

      You are a cynic

      • Hurricane says:

        Maybe so, I’ve certainly been called worse by better sources, but I also know that charging so much for something as inexpensive as pizza is…. And to now make it look like something being given back to the community is hypocritical.

  11. Alvin Williams says:

    Nothing new under the sun; I recall something similar been done some years ago when the four star was situated on the middle road in Warwick.
    Give away baskets of food; now that will really help the needy. It would have being more honest if they had admitted that they were giving away free pizzas for hundreds of school children who jump off their school buses; something I use to do with my school mates as we picked cherries and loguats and which by the way there was very few school buses; we used to walk home from school.

  12. Lois Frederick says:

    Nice gesture for those in need. Can’t really understand how anyone can be cynical about a real tangible offer to those who need a little help. Thanks Four Star.

  13. James says:

    Great idea. Love the entrepreneurship here.

  14. Say what says:

    Interesting how those “in need” drive convertibles, also spotted a car with GP license plate….maybe they were there supporting the community?

    • Orlanda Bascome says:

      Love it Freddy Thomas!!! For you haters go bury yourself!!

  15. ABC says:

    @Sky Pilot

    im not de 1 2 pick on over grammar m8 ƒƒs sake u a loser

  16. D says:

    Most people traveled by bus! So its people that can’t afford trans nor food really so stop with the harsh comments people r struggling day by day on this island and I’m 1 of them!

  17. Thanks says:

    So just because people have decent clothes and don’t live on the street that doesn’t mean they are not unemployed or simply ran out of money before payday and need free pizza people!!

    Furthermore, did anyone notice the lack of bermudian staff working there whom I know first hand that are underpaid? Smh!

  18. Good Listener says:

    Maybe some of you should listen to/read the promotion before commenting (always trying to spin things negative)…

    They said it was for those in need but that ALL ARE WELCOME to stop by.

  19. sebring says:

    it could also be a name change is it ? rich four star pizza ? I liked the name upper crust better! and four star is okay either way never tried any to expensive!

  20. sebring says:

    Finally a pizza place with a high number of bermudian staff!

    • Tough Love says:

      Ok, where did you see the Bermudians working? I saw maybe 3.

  21. Awake says:

    Give out free food ppl still find a way to complain smh thank you four star!! I know a lot of work went into pulling this off like many other years you have done this, it’s much appreciated!!

  22. Me says:

    Great gesture. Thanks Marico & those that donated..and thank you staff …

  23. Flatts Resident says:

    Can’t deny that it’s a good thing, but the public should be commended for funding this event when buying all of that overpriced stuff they call pizza!

  24. Yea right ! says:

    Help those in need with junk food? At least make it healthy, pizza, coke-a-cola and cake,,,really ! More of an advert than anything. IMOP

    • PBanks says:

      It’s a restaurant specializing in takeout pizza, what do you expect them to do, sell salads and smoothies?

      What does ‘IMOP’ mean, btw?

  25. Cynical Charles says:

    Hey! Where are all the Bermudian Chefs?

  26. mai says:

    I don’t look like i need but when i walked to get that pizza i was very hungry. It was enough for my dinner. Thank you for star!

  27. Evie says:

    Lol hahahahaha not at $11.87 an hour SMDH

  28. StillThatBS says:

    Can’t we all just get along? Gosh….

  29. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    The key is giving freely from the heart.I applaud all individuals and organisations who give and partner with those who give freely.I would love to see Bermudians do more of this and co-ordinate their efforts so all can benefit every day of the week.Qudos to all these positive healthy efforts.Please …..no free drugs …..or free alcohol ……or free gambling……thanks folks …that does not….promote Healthy lifestyles…in society…!

  30. Cisco says:

    You people do not know who is homeless nor desperate… just by the way they are dressed…please!!!

  31. Teresa Chatfield says:

    Marico Thomas should be commended for the idea and for its execution. Those who criticise should perhaps think of where they can contribute in any way to Bermuda and its residents. He has set a good example to us all. Well Done Four Star!

  32. grateful says:

    Great idea four starr!! I’m sure you helped a lot of children who would have went home and hardly had anything to eat or hardly any lunch. Well done four star for giving back to the community

    • Kangoocar says:

      Are you looking at the same same pic that I am??? I see ONE student?? More like to me, adults feeding themselves and to heck with the kids??? Don’t get me wrong, Four Star did a good thing but it is clearly being abused!!! Four Star should have advertised the fact that they were taking to the streets and giving FREE meals to those that really NEED it!!!! I stick by what I said earlier, those in line should be ashamed of themselves!!!!

  33. Bermudian says:

    I enjoyed my free dinner last night at Four Star thank you! HOWEVER it was very sad to see the amount of non-Bermudians working there. I am unemployed and have gone down there to see employment and was told I am over qualified! So Sad Mr. Thomas you need to start to hire Bermudians who can actually understand your community when they place an order!

  34. Hmm... says:

    you kno i thought they said free pizza not a free slice of pizza. Glad i kept my dinner plans at friends house instead of diverting to flatts wasting gas money and all to get a Pizza slice. Truly thought i was sacrificing a free pie— in the sky i guess. :P

  35. Expat says:

    Are there any Bermudians working at the estabishment?

  36. Mercy Mercy People —- put all the issues aside –and enjoy the day —-UNGRATEFUL —–