Sick of seeing so much poverty, East Texas store owner posted a shocking sign in his store

Growing tired of having to deal with the poverty in his community, a Texas business owner came up with a solution that targets starving and unemployed people.

Until 2016, Lake Fort Community was known as a haven to anglers, who flock there for its bounty of big largemouth bass. But today, people know the East Texas community for Frank Hemani, the generous gas station owner with a big heart.

Hemani, who owns a Star Mart gas station in East Texas, created a lot of buzz in his community some years ago with his new strategy; a pay-it-forward mission–that sets in motion a wave of human kindness–in helping people who can’t afford the necessities of life.

Flickr / Lars Plougmann (Generic image)

Inspired by a YouTube video, where a grocery store owner had a brilliant idea on how to deal with a similar situation, Hemani posted a sign in his store, inviting needy people into his store, so he could deal with them in the only way he knew how.

With a sandwich, a bottle of water and a lot of compassion, all that money cannot buy in his store.

The self-proclaimed “people person” said he’s seen people in the area struggling to get by and wanted to help.

His answer is a sign, placed on a refrigerator case inside the Star Mart, with an invitation that reads, “If you don’t have money or a job, you can have a sandwich and a bottle of water for free.”

KLTV reported that Hemani has another sign on his store that reads, “If they are hungry enough, I will feed them. If they have children, or child, I’ll definitely give them something to eat.”

“There are a lot of people out there that will help other people,” said Hemani, who owns three businesses in the area. “I have been blessed. I have never had to struggle.”

Hemani, a resident of the Lake Fork area for about 10 years, said it’s a tight community where “pretty much everybody knows everybody.”


Hinting that there was a time when he couldn’t afford food, the store owner told local news, “It’s just a couple of bucks, but somebody will not go to sleep hungry.” He added, “It’s really nice to help the community out because there’s sometimes that maybe I went hungry. I don’t think the kids in this country or anywhere in the world has to wait for Christmas to get a good stuff and I think they should get it whenever they (need).”

He tells a story of a woman who once drove up to his store, her children crying and hungry in the back seat. Revealing that she had no money to feed her young kids, Hemani, instead of shooing them away, made them pizza.

Andrea Wissman, an employee at the Star Mart location praises her boss, saying that sometimes, we all need a little help. “We have ham and cheese sandwiches and sometimes he throws some of our breakfast tacos in here, as (something) different (so) they can have a choice…We all go through hard times from time to time, so it’s nice to have something good.”

So far, according to Hemani, there have not been lines of eager people trying to snag a free meal, and that the store right now is only serving about six sandwiches a week.

The owner plans to expand the offer of kindness to his other stores. “I can do more positive stories out there. Because of me, if more and more people start doing it, I think it’ll be one good thing for the whole world.”

Frank Hemani is such an inspiration. Not only is he feeding less fortunate people, but he’s also showing them that there are good people in this oftentimes cruel world.

If you’re inspired by this story, follow his example and start your own pay-it-forward mission! You’ll see how something small can make a huge difference!