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Raleigh’s pay-what-you-can cafe adding a food truck to expand its mission in Wake County

A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant, is adding a new food truck with community and government support.

The Downtown Raleigh restaurant intends to use the same pay-what-you-can model with the truck at festivals and corporate events. The county funding will help expand the number of meals they can serve and their community outreach, including to the Boys and Girls Club in Zebulon, said Maggie Kane, a founder and executive director of A Place at the Table.

Wake County is giving $7 million to 12 organizations to provide food, shelter and healthcare to the community. The Wake County Board of Commissioners approved the funding at a meeting Monday afternoon.

A Place at the Table will receive $120,000.

“I just want to stress how grateful we are for the for the county (and) for believing in us,” Kane said in an interview Monday before the meeting. “And this is our first county funding. So it’s really exciting.”

A Place at the Table opened in 2018 and serves breakfast and lunch at its cafe on East Hargett Street. Some diners pay a suggested price. Others may pay more or less, pay it forward, or volunteer for their meal.

The county partnership will help A Place at the Table expand to other Boys and Girls Clubs and nonprofits, specifically organizations targeting children and teens, Kane said.

“We know that we’re not going to be their end-all meal service, but we can develop this partnership with them, bring a meal for these kids and really get to know them and be an organization that just partners right alongside them,” Kane said.

The Wake County money comes after the restaurant received $100,000 in December from “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” which named the cafe a Good Neighbor of the Year. At the time, Kane hinted the money would go toward a food truck, The News & Observer previously reported.

Other Wake County projects

Funding to the other organizations ranges from $36,600 to $1 million and will pay for everything from infrastructure to buying land to adding services to help Wake County residents.

“We’re thrilled to apply funds the county received last year from the Wake County Alcohol Beverage Control to these worthy projects,” said Chair Shinica Thomas of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, in a news release.

“From helping increase access to healthy food to expanding options to shelter the unhoused, the work these non-profits plan to do will make a significant difference in the lives of our most vulnerable residents.”

  • Advance Community Health, $1 million: Will expand the facility on Capital Boulevard to provide healthcare, behavioral health, dental services and more to serve an additional 2,000 walk-in patients.

  • The Alice Aycock Poe Center, $887,000: Will fund roof repairs, HVAC repairs and other renovations at its facility on Sunnybrook Road. The organization focuses on preventative health education.

  • Fertile Ground Food Cooperative, $1 million: Will go toward a community-owned grocery store in Southeast Raleigh.

  • Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, $900,000: Will go toward building a childcare facility for DHIC to build an affordable housing project on church grounds in Cary.

  • The Joel Fund, $264,000: Will purchase land in Rolesville to further its mission of connecting veterans and their families to services.

  • North Raleigh Ministries, $1 million: Will fund the purchase of a 19,300-square-foot building at 2809 E. Millbrook Road to consolidate services in one location. North Raleigh Ministries provides food assistance, crisis support and programs aimed to families overcome financial stress.

  • Rebuilding Together of the Triangle, $930,000: Will purchase a 7,700-square-foot building at 8035 Chapel Hill Road in Cary. The organization services low-income homeowners who need home repairs.

  • WakeEd, $155,200: Will expand a Tools4Schools, a free classroom supply store.

  • White Oak Foundation, $173,100: Will fund the development of two transitional housing units near Apex and Cary for low-income families, aging adults and veterans. Construction is expected to begin June 2024.

  • The Women’s Center of Wake County, $36,600: Will convert existing space at the women’s shelters to install modular beds and storage units.

  • YES Foundation, $533,5000: Will fund a 9,500-square-foot day treatment facility for youth on Rock Quarry Road.