Monday, December 15, 2014

Business owner to help homeless

DES MOINES, Iowa —Years ago, Derrick Walton was homeless and had no help. Today he is the owner of Chef D’s Rock Power Pizza and he is making sure he serves up food and goodwill.

Walton made a promise to himself and just weeks after he opened his restaurant, he made sure he kept that promise; food at no charge for those in need;

“This week it’s baked chicken, rice, vegetable, a salad and bottled water,” said Walton.  “The name on the restaurant may say Rock Power Pizza, but on Monday nights, the menu changes to a full, home-cooked meal."

Raised in Detroit, Walton has seen tough times.  But after living in Des Moines for a dozen years, he decided to help others, who are still seeing tough times.  ”I've been doing this for so many years, it's just a passion,” said Walton.

He closes his restaurant on Monday nights and invites homeless and needy families to stop buy, and eat for free.

Volunteer Carrie Knudsen and her son stopped by to help.  It takes a lot of work to prepare a few dozen meals.   Another young volunteer is doing his best at becoming a waiter.

So far customers are hearing about Rock Power pizza through the grapevine.  Helen Christner stopped by Monday night for the first time, and found much more than pizza.  “I said wonderful, we're going to get a meal,” Cristner said.

Walton wants to spread the word.  His kitchen and his heart are open for anyone who needs help.  “I want them to know, you always have a place to come and eat."

Rock Power Pizza is open from 5 to 8 Monday nights to feed the homeless.

Walton says he accepts donations, which anyone can send to or drop off at the restaurant.   Otherwise it's money out of his own pocket.  But he loves doing it.

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