Think Like F.A.R.M. Cafe and Help Feed All Regardless of Means

As Thanksgiving approaches, students are excitedly anticipating going home to enjoy the best parts of this holiday: food, staying cozy inside, and getting to see family. However, it’s all too easy to become all too focused on our own lives and to-do lists that we forget that not everyone is as fortunate as we might be. 

Those who are homeless, hungry or cold as winter weather sets in may not have the luxury of a traditional Thanksgiving, simply because they lack the means. But being homeless or food-insecure does not mean that these individuals don’t deserve to join in on the holiday spirit this winter. 

During your half-week break, I encourage you to volunteer or donate items to a local charity as a way to give back to your community. Watauga County has a high poverty rate, and permanent residents have a much lower median salary rate when compared to other North Carolina counties. 

My personal favorite non-profit organization is our local F.A.R.M. Cafeon West King St., whose mission is to “feed all regardless of means.” They serve lunch to customers on a pay-what-you-can basis and successfully create a warm, welcoming environment where everyone feels like family. 

The wonderful full-time staff there make sure that anyone walking into F.A.R.M. Caféhungry will leave with a full stomach from a healthy, delicious meal and a warm heart from the sense of community. 

I find it really cool that this little cafe has counterpart restaurants around the globe which are all part of the “One World Everyone Eats” movement. On the One World Everybody Eats website you can search for other restaurants in North Carolina who share a similar message. Aside from F.A.R.M. Cafe, there is Vimala’s Curryblossom Café in Chapel Hill, Rosetta’s Kitchen in Asheville and A Place at the Table in Raleigh. If you are from any of these areas or plan to visit them, consider using the opportunity to check out these community cafes and figure out how you can help!

This type of business model is a beautiful example of the functionality of communal sharing to solve social ills. Whenever I volunteer in return for a meal, I have to remind myself that I’m not about to just wake up from a dream, and this is, in fact, a real place. It’s a nice change from the “normal” world where you need money for every little thing you do in everyday life.

F.A.R.M. Cafe and other community cafes thrive on support they receive from volunteers, generous individuals who pay more than their share for a meal and sponsorships from local businesses. If you get cabin fever from staying at home or you feel motivated to help with hunger in your community, sign up for a volunteer shift at the cafe, or get involved with one of your own favorite non-profits this season. 

F.A.R.M. Café club will be hosting an open mic and dessert potluck on November 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the cafe and get into the giving spirit. Wishing you a great Thanksgiving!