New Raleigh dining concept allows people to pay what they can afford

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new concept in the Triangle is allowing people to pay what they can afford for the food they eat.

“We have soup kitchens and we have a lot of fine dining in Raleigh, but A Place at the Table would bridge that gap between the two,” Anne Scruggs, of Raleigh, said.

A Place at the Table would be Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can-cafe.

“They can pay the suggested donation that we have. They can pay more, or buy someone else’s meal. They can pay a little bit less, or pay by volunteering with us,” said Maggie Kane, executive director of A Place at the Table.

There are 50 restaurants where people pay what they can afford around the country. Currently, the closest to the Triangle is in Boone.

“I think this is a needed concept,” Amanda Jones, of Raleigh, said. “I work with youth experiencing homelessness in Raleigh, so I see this every day.”

“We’re hitting the food and security need that we all know exists here,” Kane told CBS North Carolina. “The healthy, affordable food that doesn’t exist here. But also, that lack of community that exists.”

On Saturday, A Place at the Table partnered with a traditional restaurant, Relish, to raise money and awareness for a concept that’s been proven to succeed.

Kane said, “If 80 percent of people are paying the suggested donation, and 20 percent of people are paying a little bit less, or paying by volunteering for a meal, it balances out.”

This gives those in need a nutritious meal and more.

“Not only get a good meal, but get involved in the community, meet other people to where they can network,” Scruggs added.

A Place at the Table is hoping to find a permanent location in downtown Raleigh. Until then, they’ll continue to do pop-up meals each month.

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