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Gas station offers free food to people in need, receives remarkable response

The York County gas station's manager said no one should sleep hungry, and he wants to be a part of the solution.

YORKTOWN, Va. (WVEC) — One gas station in York County has a simple policy posted on its front door: If you can't afford to pay for food, you can ask and receive food for free.

Willy Saleem, the manager at the Yuppy's Sunoco gas station on George Washington Memorial Highway, said he doesn't want to see anyone sleeping hungry.

"We're not going to turn you down if you ask for food, it's as simple as that," Saleem said.

Saleem said he feels his business should help the community, since the community is ultimately driving his business.

"Money is not everything, that's the reason behind the sign," he said.

Yorktown resident Ryan Richey saw the sign last week and posted about it on Facebook. His post was shared hundreds of times. After learning about the post, Facebook users commented that they would drive out of their way to support the gas station. Saleem said he immediately saw the impact.

"It has been slammed busy and pretty much our sales are getting way better than what we have seen for the last month," Saleem said.

However, Saleem insists this policy was never about boosting sales. In fact, the sign has been posted for 8 months. Customer Steve Swicegood said he has seen people in need walking out with free sandwiches for months now. Saleem estimates he gives out food once or twice a day but said in many situations those people have returned and paid him money back for the food.

Richey said it's heartwarming to see the community's response to a good deed.

"It's good to see something positive get so much recognition," Richey said.

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