VIENNA - A restaurant in Vienna is taking part in World Food Day on Tuesday.
Owners of CJ's Italian Kitchen, James and Cindy Auvil, are matching every pound of food they sell on Tuesday to give back to the Friendship Kitchen, at 31st Street and Emerson Avenue in Parkersburg.
The Friendship Kitchen, operated by North Parkersburg Baptist Church since May 2002, provides weekly luncheon and special occasion meals to the community at no charge. The couple was brainstorming on ways to give back to the community for the national food recognition day, Cindy Auvil said. They decided to keep track of every pound of food they sell on Tuesday, and buy the same amount of food for the Friendship Kitchen.
"We will donate the equivalent," she said. "Because of the type of food we sell and the way we maintain quantities, everything is weighed out."
Auvil said it is a fun way for the owners to give back to the community.
On the restaurant's one-year anniversary, Aug. 11, it held a trivia day where patrons were welcome to guess how many tons of pizza dough, pasta, gallons of beer and cupcakes the restaurant sold in its first year of business.
The Rosemar Road restaurant gave away $20 gift certificates every hour from noon until 5 p.m. to guests, in the restaurant at the time, who could give the correct answer to questions posted on the company's Facebook page.
Teaming up with the Friendship Kitchen was not a new idea, said Auvil. The restaurant occasionally gives the Friendship Kitchen excess food.
The idea to buy the organization anything it needs is a different concept, Auvil said. Susie Meredith, with pastoral care at the church, will be in charge of telling the restaurant what the kitchen can benefit most from receiving.
"She (Meredith) will give us a list," said Auvil. "Whatever is on that list, whatever she will need for donations, we will purchase."
The Auvils said they thought it was better not to confine the Friendship Kitchen to pizza or pasta; instead they plan to give the location what it needs at the time. "It's just a way for us to give back," she said. "We're blessed; we love what we're doing here; love the business we're in," Auvil said of the restaurant.
CJ's Italian Kitchen is having its own election, in the "pizza party."
The contest will ask for entries of the best pizza toppings combination. The contest will last until Oct. 15 and entries will be accepted until midnight that night.
Preliminary voting is Oct. 16-22, with the top four pizzas moving into production. From Oct. 23 until Nov. 6 the pizzas will be added to the menu, and the best selling of the top four pizzas will be the winner.
On Nov. 7, the day after the national election, the winner of the best pizza will be announced.
The winning pizza will have a permanent spot on the restaurant's menu.