Thanksgiving showcases the power of gathering around a table and sharing a plate of food.
NBC’s “Today” show will shine its national spotlight on a Raleigh restaurant committed to making more room at that table.
Kicking off Thanksgiving week, Raleigh nonprofit restaurant A Place at the Table will be featured on the “Today” show Monday morning. Look for Maggie Kane, the restaurant’s 27-year-old founder and executive director, in an interview segment in the 9 a.m. hour. Kane was interviewed by “Today” producers last week in the restaurant.
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A Place at the Table opened in January, serving breakfast and lunch, but is best known for its pay-what-you-can-afford setup.
At the restaurant, customers can pay the price of the meal, or pay a little less if they need to, down to half the suggested price.
For those who can’t afford a meal, they can volunteer their time to buy food, cleaning and busing tables or working in the restaurant.
Many pay above the suggested price, providing charity meals for those who need them, or buying a $10 wooden meal token to hand out in the community.
In a monthly newsletter, Kane said the restaurant sees 20 to 40 volunteers every day, plus another five to 10 who pay a reduced price.
In its first year, the restaurant said it served 27,660 meals, nearly a fifth of which had been donated to diners who weren’t able to pay themselves. The amount of money and meals donated totaled more than $92,000. Volunteers paying for meals with their time contributed 8,279 hours of work.
Kane, a 2013 graduate of NC State, was recently named the university’s Outstanding Young Alumna.