When Strangers Become Friends

By Lindsay K. Smith

This April we celebrated National Volunteer Week!

Here at A Place at the Table we try to find small ways to thank our volunteers who give their time so that we can fulfill our mission of “providing community and healthy food for all regardless of means”. With less than five full-time employees we rely heavily on volunteer support and have been able to serve countless meals since opening our doors on January 8, 2018. However, what is equally as important if not more important than the meals served is the community that has been established since our grand opening.

From the moment, you walk in the door at A Place at the Table you know that you are welcome. Whether it is the smiling face of our executive director or our volunteer Larry welcoming you, you are bound to feel at home. Larry has been involved with A Place at the Table before we even had a building. His love for cooking drew him in but the sense of community has made him stay.

Larry has this to say about his time here “I've been a volunteer cook in a number of places. Volunteering at A Place At The Table invites me to work alongside many different people from different walks of life. I work beside and converse with people who I would not normally meet. Serving at A Place At The Table gives me a sense of hopefulness in our society that needs it now more than ever. The hope is tangible here. It's a place of encounter, a place that is eye-opening in terms of learning about poverty, hospitality, and our shared humanity.  And sometimes strangers become friends.”

Just as Larry’s life has been changed since he started volunteering here we have been changed by our volunteers. So today and every day we celebrate our volunteers! We are eternally grateful for our community and want to thank everyone who made it possible for the dream of a pay what you can cafe coming to life here in Raleigh!