Weekly Mission Spotlight: A Place at the Table

On January 8th, 2018 A Place at the Table opened as a pay-what-you-can cafe at 300 W. Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh. The initial idea for the café was born out of a conversation in 2014 between Scott Phillips, the former campus minister of Presbyterian Campus Ministry (PCM) located at West Raleigh Presbyterian Church (WRPC), and Maggie Kane, an NCSU and PCM alumna, about how to create a place that tied together food, worship, and ministry. As the founder of APATT, Maggie Kane spent a year doing extensive research and settled on the One World Everybody Eats (OWEE) approach that the F.A.R.M café in Boone utilizes for its café. Soon after, APATT, received their 501(c)(3) status.

The result is a thriving downtown café, only minutes from FPC, that provides a welcoming and inviting space with an opportunity for all people to come and experience conversation and community while enjoying an excellent, fresh, and healthy meal. People long for a community, a place to fit in, a place to feel welcome, and a place to be a part of something bigger than just themselves. APATT provides community and healthy food for all regardless of means. Customers have multiple options to pay and to pay-it-forward. They can pay the suggested price, pay more than the suggested price, pay less than the suggested price, volunteer for a meal, or present a token for a meal. FPC supports APATT through it mission budget, with Souper Bowl of Caring proceeds, and by handing out tokens to our hungry neighbors in need. Additionally, many members of FPC volunteer their time at APATT.

Before COVID-19, APATT was giving away approximately 1400 meals a month to neighbors that volunteered for a meal. Because so many resources for the impoverished and homeless were suspended or downsized during the pandemic, APATT experienced larger than normal traffic and more requests for free meals. During the pandemic, they were giving away about 1400 meals a week, while the “pay the suggested price” crowd had severely diminished.

Maggie really rose to the challenge to insure that no one went hungry. Currently, APATT has returned to their original model of paying the suggested price, presenting a token or volunteering for a meal. The result is a bustling diverse crowd of volunteers and patrons.

Additionally, they have updated their menu and have an expanded dining area, as well as a larger kitchen.

To learn more about APATT, visit www.tableraleigh.org or go grab a meal after worship at 300 West Hargett St.