With the help of the community, a South Whidbey restaurant has found a way to feed hungry customers of modest means.
Starting this week, Pickles Deli in Clinton implemented the Island Menu. People who lack the funds to purchase a sandwich can receive one free of charge by requesting the Island Menu, which consists of a simple chicken, turkey, tuna or vegetarian sandwich.
The Island Menu is supported by donations from the community. Kim Bailey, the owner of Pickles Deli, said she came up with the concept while scrolling Facebook and reading about a bagel shop in New York that was offering a similar service for customers in need.
Since announcing the advent of the Island Menu on social media last week, Bailey has been pleasantly surprised by the number of donations that people have contributed to the fund. Currently there are a few hundred dollars, which equals dozens of sandwiches. All that’s missing is for someone to come in and order off the Island Menu.
“I just wanted to help a little bit, and I know everyone else wants to help,” Bailey said. “So this is a way to bring our community together.”
People looking to donate can do so by cash or check at the store’s register. Bailey is hoping to spread the word about the Island Menu so as many people as possible can access it. In the past, people have visited the sandwich shop in Ken’s Korner looking for food. Bailey said she would love to work with South Whidbey nonprofit organizations that address food insecurity, such as the Whidbey Homeless Coalition and Whidbey Island Nourishes.
“This community is so giving, and they’ve been so good to me,” Bailey said.
Pickles Deli opened in 2006, and will celebrate its 17th anniversary soon.
Bailey plans to continue the Island Menu as long as she keeps receiving donations.
“It’s just going to keep flowing and flowing, is what I’m hoping for,” she said.