Toronto Star Classroom Connection

Osmow’s Shawarma is Serving Up Hope

The only thing better than settling in to eat a delicious meal from your favourite quick-service restaurant is knowing that in doing so, you’re supporting a deep-rooted commitment to giving back to those in need.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in Canada who hasn’t seen or felt the appeal of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes that Osmow’s serves up. Their modern take on beloved shawarma classics makes them a popular choice for feelgood food that is ready in a snap and reasonably priced to boot.

But this restaurant chain has much more to offer than readyto-eat meals—Osmow’s is serving its community in more ways than one, making a meaningful impact through its charitable giveback initiative. Principal and Founder Sam Osmow shared that this commitment was not just a plan but an intrinsic part of their operation from the very beginning.

“It was just something we always did, a part of the way we operated,” he explained. “The evolution really came about when we started The Osmow's Hope Fund in 2020.

It allowed us to expand our reach and do more by including customer and franchisee donations. This, in turn, allowed us to make a greater impact in the communities that we serve.”


Osmow’s home-grown charity, The Osmow's Hope Fund, provides daily meals to children in places of learning and supports developing communities both locally and abroad.

The initiative’s work has touched many lives and brought the Osmow’s team across the globe to provide nourishing meals to school-aged children in countries such as Zambia and India. These trips, the team shared, were transformative and left a mark on each and every one of them.

“There are many stories from Zambia that really resonated with me,” said Bernadette Osmow, President & Chief Marketing Officer. “One of the most memorable moments was when I noticed a child putting a lid on their cup after eating only a small portion of the food. I inquired and understood that she saves the rest of the food to bring home to her siblings, who are too young to attend school.

“Thinking about the fact that this child is actually one of the lucky ones is what really hurts. She's fortunate to have that feeding program implemented in her school. We have so much more to do to ensure we make a real difference with a sustainable and lasting impact.”

On top of bringing nourishment to vulnerable regions, Osmow’s continues its commitment to giving back close to home, working with homeless shelters and food banks throughout the Greater Toronto Area to provide meals and support for those in need.


The Osmow's Hope Fund extends beyond donating meals to those in need—Osmow’s seeks to involve their communities in supporting the Fund through fundraising and donations.

“We do several initiatives throughout the year where we lean on our customers and franchisees for support,” explained

Marina Baric, Vice President of Marketing. “We ask our customers to round up their purchase on World Hunger Day, May 28th, along with the entire month of November. It makes it super easy for them to contribute, and any amount helps! We also host several events internally where we look to our vendors and franchisees for added support, such as an annual Franchisee Cricket tournament and Vendor Volleyball tournament.”

The impact of giving back to the community cannot be understated. Baric shared that these initiatives have created a supportive environment across the entirety of Osmow’s operations—it’s a positive snowball effect that has a tangible impact.

“The entire extended Osmow’s family has been super supportive,” she said. “For example, the majority of our employees donate bi-weekly via an automatic paycheque deduction. Many franchisees do something similar with monthly contributions from each of their locations. We also encourage customers and vendors to donate directly through our website, making it extremely easy to support a great cause.”

Furthering their commitment to giving back, Osmow’s is looking forward to increasing their impact in the coming years—a continuing legacy of kindness and positivity.

“Being able to increase our donations year over year has been incredibly rewarding, but the team knows there’s still so much more we need to do,” said Baric. “This includes adding more countries and initiatives to the list. For 2024, we're adding Egypt in addition to Zambia, India, Pakistan, and, of course, Canada. With everyone’s support, we know the success of this charity is limitless; together, we can feed HOPE!”

The impact of The Osmow's Hope Fund cannot be understated, and Osmow’s makes it possible for everyone to get involved with their mission—it’s as easy as ordering your favourite meal from the beloved chain.

Learn more about The Osmow's Hope Fund and find your nearest Osmow’s at





Toronto Star Newspapers Limited