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New DC restaurant serves up falafel to help refugees

Friday, June 09, 2017 - 01:53

A new falafel shop in Washington, D.C., is hoping to help the global refugee crisis one hummus sandwich or falafel bowl at a time. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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Customers initially come for the food... But then they come back for something that's not on the menu... to support the restaurant's mission... to help refugees. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CUSTOMER, LEO SHERIDAN, SAYING: "It is a big draw for me, because in my every day life I try to find things where I can benefit, like, a greater good. And it happens to coincide with something else that I love to do, which is eat." For every 10 dollars customers spend, Falafel Inc. donates the cost of feeding one refugee for a day. The new restaurant in Washington, D.C. is even designed to look like a typical falafel stand you'd find in a refugee camp. Owner Ahmad Ashkar is also CEO and founder of the Hult Prize Foundation, which aims to launch the world's next wave of social entrepreneurs. The Palestinian-American says blending 'for good' and 'for profit' is smart business when it comes to millennial consumers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AHMAD ASHKAR, CEO AND FOUNDER OF FALAFEL INC. AND THE HULT PRIZE FOUNDATION, SAYING: "Millennials think differently, they shop differently, and they behave differently, because they grew up in a world where looking the other way to the global challenges that we face as a society was impossible." And his millennial customers are happy to open their wallets for a good cause. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CUSTOMER, LEANNE ALMEIDA, SAYING: "I actually hadn't heard of anything like this before. So now if I'm considering buying food, this is the first place I think of, because the food's good and it's for a good cause." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CUSTOMER, KATHARINE KI, SAYING: "I'm just happy that we could help, like, at least in, like, the smallest way." Equipped with his mother's recipes, Ashkar says he plans to open up more falafel shops in the future.

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New DC restaurant serves up falafel to help refugees

Friday, June 09, 2017 - 01:53