A Place at the Table
A Place at the Table provides community and healthy food for all regardless of means.
In early 2018 A Place at the Table opened as a pay-what-you-can cafe in downtown Raleigh. Maggie Kane, its founder and executive director wanted to create a welcoming and inviting space that provides an opportunity for all people to come and experience conversation and community while enjoying an excellent, fresh, and healthy meal.
A Place at the Table is proud to serve with the more than 60 other pay-what-you-can restaurants in the global “One World Everybody Eats” network. The staff believes all people deserve to walk in, feel welcome, have a choice of what they want to eat, and dine in dignity and they encourage people to eat together and enjoy their meals together.
Instead of actual prices on the menu, customers can pay what they can afford. There is a suggested price, so that diners will know what they would normally pay for their meal. But in lieu of this they can volunteer instead. And those who can afford to pay more help offset the cost for someone who cannot afford to pay. They can also purchase meal tokens to give to others who cannot afford to pay at all.
There is a straightforward breakfast and lunch menu. Breakfasts often include quiche, bowls, toast, waffles and a full coffee bar, while lunch might consist of salads, sandwiches, and some other creative dishes.
A Place at the Table has a board of directors comprised of local business leaders, non-profit veterans and restaurant industry lifers and ten employees who tend to the operation of the business. There are also volunteers and without them A Place at the Table would not be able to continue operating.
Patrons who can afford to pay more, purchase tokens for others, or provide a monetary donation are also vital as these things ensure that those in real need get a helping hand at the table.
A Place at the Table is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Those that want to make a monetary donation should go to www.tableraleigh.org/donate. Donors can also join the “Monthly Sustainer Program” where for a ten or fifteen dollar monthly donation they help sustain a community where friends can come for a meal and a friendly chat, help pay a living wage to the staff, and help support a vision of a steadily growing cafe and community.
By mid-2019, A Place at the Table has already served thirty-four thousand people, given out sixty-seven hundred meals, counted twenty-two thousand “pay it forward” transactions equaling $110,000, and racked up nineteen thousand volunteer hours. And by mid-2023, it had provided over 140,000 meals to folks who are food insecure and have had over 200,000 volunteer hours. It has also served over 50,000 biscuits and 80,000 cups of coffee!