Today APATT’s Executive Director Maggie Kane talks with a couple of Raleigh’s own to hear their thoughts about the Oak City’s need for a community cafe. Maggie has written this blog from her own perspective – the thoughts and words on this page are hers.
“A Place at the Table will be a good opportunity to put everyone together in one place where not everyone is the same.” My good friend Carl was explaining this to me the other day as we were chatting about the need for APATT. Carl is one of 1,200 or so people experiencing homelessness in Wake County. He regularly has meals at the Shepherd’s Table Soup Kitchen during the week and the Oak City Outreach Center on the weekends. Both places serve warm, hot meals for hundreds of people each day and week. I am thankful for these two places because it serves a need that exists in the community. A Place at the Table does not want to replicate these two great resources that already help so many people in town. We are seeking to serve a different need in the community.
My friend Ashley jumped into the conversation. “I am excited to eat at A Place at the Table because we can’t afford to go out to eat. Now we will be able to go out in an actual restaurant more often.” Ashley and her fiance, along with their beautiful daughter, eat at home almost every night. I personally have been out to eat with them before and they are a hoot. We all would love to go out more often with each other. The problem is that most places, the bill is higher than I make in three hours of work and more than Ashley would like to pay since she’s raising a new baby. A Place at the Table would serve that need — to experience community in a restaurant setting.
Ashley continued on, “My fiance is a great cook and could help serve up some really amazing dishes.” She is right. Her fiance truly is a terrific chef. A Place at the Table will be a place that utilizes its volunteers utmost strengths. We are beyond excited to have him, and several other culinary wizzes (yes, you must be a trained volunteer) helping prepare meals.
As I said goodbye to Carl on Sunday, he left me with a powerful statement and something I have been pondering for days. He said, “People that do not have the money it takes to eat in a restaurant will be able to eat there. If there is a need in this city, this is it.”
I cannot wait to dine with Carl and Ashley at A Place at the Table. I also cannot wait for you all to meet my amazing friends who are just as excited to meet you. See you at the table soon!
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