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Pay it Forward: Baytown diner encouraging kindness through free meals

"Every day people come in and say they just want to be a part. It’s just crazy. We cry every day because the goodness of God is just phenomenal."

BAYTOWN, Texas — The Baytown Pay It Forward Diner opened in October with a simple mission: To make sure no one goes without.

The diner, at 1020 Decker Dr., has a wall full of hearts behind the counter. A heart goes on the wall every time a customer pays for an extra meal. 

Anyone is welcome to use a heart to enjoy a free meal. 

Teresa McCartney Hoffart and her husband Paul have dreamed of running a diner like this for a decade.

“Most of the time, people are really anxious to help when there’s something going wrong, a disaster or something like that," Paul Hoffart said. "But people are in need to eat outside those times."

The couple knows that because they were once homeless.

As word has gotten out about the Baytown Pay It Forward Diner, their wall has filled up. And their hearts.

“They don’t have to. They choose to. That is what gets us every day," Teresa said. "Every day people come in and say they just want to be a part. It’s just crazy. We cry every day because the goodness of God is just phenomenal."

Anyone can get a delicious hot meal, no questions asked. 

All menu items are also listed at suggested prices. Customers are welcome to pay what they can if they don’t feel comfortable accepting a free meal.

The diner is open Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you would like to “Pay It Forward”, you can donate to the Baytown Pay It Forward diner by sending money to “$houseofmercy9” through Cash App or through PayPal at houseofmercy9@gmail.com.

Stephanie Whitfield on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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