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New West restaurant donates “little critters” to local charities

Movers & Shakers

Folks at two local charities will be dining on delicious prawns courtesy of Piva Modern Italian restaurant.

While recently attending one of his kid’s soccer games, one of Piva’s partners was approached by another father, a commercial fisherman, who asked if the local restaurant could use some prawns. Because of COVID, Gordon Johnson had encountered issues with his overseas buyer and was overstocked.

Christopher McFadden, managing partner and wine director at Piva, said Johnson was put in touch with executive chef, Subraaz Abdullah. Piva purchased 10 kilograms (25 prawns per kilo), but that put a tiny dent in the Johnson’s commercial freezer full of prawns. 

“As a part of Piva’s charity initiative, we figured there might be a win/win for both local causes and a New Westminster businessman,” he said. “The result was Piva buying 300 kilos of prawns for the Union Gospel Mission – at $28/kilo this is an effective donation of $8,400. Furthermore, after communicating with the mayor’s office, the Lookout Society was also identified as a local cause that could put the little critters to good use. As a result, Piva contributed another 150 kilos of prawns to this very good cause.”

Abdullah said Piva is happy to help and to give back to those in need, especially during these unprecedented times.

"It’s been a great experience to be a part in sharing our beautiful B.C. spot prawns with the local community,” Johnson said in a statement to the Record. “Normally they have been exported to Japan, so the current situation allows us to all enjoy them."

The local charities are grateful for the donation.

“On behalf of UGM New Westminster, I wish to express our deepest appreciation for your coordination of this generous donation of spot prawns that will contribute to our meal program for our community members,” Bill Wong, manager of the UGM New Westminster Resource Centre, said in an email to Piva. “We appreciate you keeping us in mind as you find opportunity to support us in our daily endeavours to help the hurting and the homeless in New Westminster.”

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