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St. Paul bakery now allowing customers to buy pie for the needy

The bakery is encouraging customers to pay it forward for the less fortunate.

Even at a time when dine-in service has disappeared from Twin Cities eateries, a St. Paul bakery has found a way to help those in need in the form of pie.

Hot Hands Pie & Biscuit, at 272 Snelling Ave. S. in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, has like countless restaurants and cafes across Minnesota been forced to to switch to a takeout model in the wake of the COVID-19 restaurant shutdown.

But it's now letting customers order not only for themselves, but for those who maybe can't afford a slice of one of chef/owner Tara Coleman's sweet or savory pies right now.

On its website, customers can select the "Pay It Forward" option that allows them to pay $5 to buy a slice of pie for a stranger in need.

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When an order is received, Hot Hands hangs up a gift receipt on its wall, which takeout customers without the means to pay can use to buy a slice.

Coleman says the "Pie in the Sky" program was inspired by similar efforts by Sister Pie in Detroit, and it's proving not only a great way to help the needy but also boost the bakery's revenues at an incredible tough time for the restaurant industry.

She told KSTP that since she started the program last week, more than 300 slices have been pre-paid by customers.

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