OGDEN, Utah (PIX11) -- A Utah man is using random acts of kindness and pasta to feed the homeless.
According to KSTU-TV, Matt Tribe bought one of Olive Garden's limited edition never ending pasta passes to satisfy his love for the food.
He later realized there was another benefit to his pasta pass.
“Every day I’d go get pasta, and I’d just go show up and someone’s house and brighten their life with some Olive Garden,” Tribe told KSTU.
The national chain restaurant offers 1,000 cards a year as part of their Never Ending Pasta Bowl promotion. The card allows for unlimited pasta for seven weeks.
When Tribe began his "Random acts of Pasta" mission, his goal was to share 100 meals by the end of seven weeks.
It started with sharing friends and family, then extended to something more.
I thought, what have I done to deserve this,” said Tribe’s friend and pasta recipient Ben Taylor. “He explained to me what he was doing, he was just giving out random acts of pasta to neighbors, friends, and even homeless people, and I thought, that’s kind of a cool story.”
With the help of Taylor, the friends began a mission to deliver meals to the homeless.
They documented the journey on YouTube to spread the message.
At the end of the seven weeks, 125 people benefited from the unlimited pasta.
Tribe acknowledged that sharing the meals was not part of the campaign, but has no regrets.
He says he checked with Olive Garden about using the card for takeout and was given the green light.
But not everyone is on board with Tribe's mission, saying it's a publicity stunt for Olive Garden.
On a Reddit thread about the YouTube video, Redditor AnimalCrust says it's "painfully obvious viral marketing."
"Look at the YouTube account. Besides sparse comments and random likes over the course of 3 years, its his first upload ever, and the guy has some very decent video skills. He's mic'd up when he's far away and approaching the homeless people, they paid for a generic/cheerful stock piano track, and every shot is perfectly framed to showcase the bag with the logo on it," AnimalCrust wrote. "This is exactly what you would get if you told a professional video team to make a home-made looking video. It's especially obvious when they over compensate by filming everything at a 45 degree angle for no apparent reason."
Tribe has responded to the backlash on Twitter saying he just wanted to help people.
In a statement to PIX11, Olive Garden responded, "We're proud to be part of this powerful video, as it aligns with our harvest program, which allowed us to donate more than 4.2 million cooked meals to local food banks last year. However, our only role was selling Matt a Pasta Pass and happily fulfilling each one of his orders."