FOX59 ‘Pay It Forward’ week continues: Surprising people with restaurant gift cards

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FOX59 is teaming up with Viking Lamb to start a movement and “Pay it Forward” in our community.

All week long, we’re surprising Hoosiers with random acts of kindness — like giving away restaurant gift cards downtown! Take a look at the surprises from Thursday Morning:

We’re also shining the spotlight on local businesses that go above and beyond to help others, like Recess, a farm-to-table restaurant in Indianapolis.

The menu changes every day, so owner and chef Greg Hardesty says the name reflects his culinary “playground.” While Hardesty enjoys mixing things up in the restaurant, he also puts a major focus on charity.

Hardesty has donated an estimated $100,000 in food over the years and is part of the annual “Taste of the NFL” fundraiser that benefits Gleaners Food Bank.

“I make a living selling food and it’s not cheap,” Hardesty said. “So I feel like that’s a privilege and then there’s people who can’t even afford a meal, so that is really where I turn to.”

Hardesty believes the drive to pay it forward is something many of his fellow chefs feel.

“It feels good to know you’ve helped someone, I think that’s originally why most chefs get into it,” he said. “We love providing something for someone, whether it’s a meal at Second Helpings or Gleaners or if it’s a hundred dollar wine dinner, it’s still fun to provide and give someone an experience.”

We’re calling this our “Pay It Forward” week, but we want to spark a chain reaction of good! Let us know how you’re paying it forward on social media using #FOX59PIF.