The Better World Cafe in Highland Park, New Jersey, which opened a year ago, offers a unique approach to feeding the hungry. It’s concept is based upon a community model pioneered by Denise Cerreta of One World Everyone Eats, which is dedicated to feeding the hungry with locally grown food. Nutritious meals are available based on affordability rather than price. The cafe joins other nonprofit eateries in such areas as Salt Lake City, Denver, Arlington, Texas, and Spokane, Washington.
Their concept of feeding everyone with affordable, healthy food is simple:
“You select your portions and pay a fair price through one of the following options:
- You may pay the suggested price or something different. If you pay more, you will help feed someone else who has more limited resources.
- You may volunteer an hour of time in exchange for a meal.
- You may dine on the complimentary dish of the day if you can neither pay nor volunteer.
- You may use the complimentary dish as one of your selections when you are selecting multiple items, to help keep your total cost down.”
|Pay what you can at A Better World Cafe|
At the moment, they serve lunch from 11 to 3 pm and hope to expand to dinner. Their menu consists of mostly vegetarian meals with their food sourced from local farms, gardens and orchards.
What I love about this venture is that the cafe employs trained workers from Elijah Promise’s Culinary School creating livable wage jobs. (The cafe is a partnership with Elijah Promise and Who Is My Neighbor? Inc.) In addition,the cafe uses some volunteers, where some are working in exchange for food while others just pitch in.
“Food is prepared at the Culinary School by its graduates and students, and brought to the cafe daily. On-the-job training and employment opportunities for low-income adults and youth are built into the operation. An array of healthy eating choices helps provide the dietary means for people to improve health and reduce obesity, developing a healthier community.”
The Cafe needs volunteers for certain jobs such as PR and marketing, social network coordinator, and garden coordinator. See here for more volunteer positions. If you are looking for volunteer work to balance you life, working with this cafe would be enormously rewarding.
If you are in the area of New Brunswick, New Jersey or other nonprofit cafes, consider enjoying a sustainable meal where feeding all is paramount. To visit the cafe, see here for directions.
What are your thoughts about this concept and can it work all over the country?