What Does A Place at the Table Mean to Me?
When I was asked the question “What does A Place at the Table mean to me?” I can only think of one answer- it means love. An incredibly broad answer I am aware, so let me delve a little deeper into what I mean. It is my deepest hope and prayer that at least once in every person's life, they feel loved. Whether that is by their family, friends, community, church, etc. A Place at the Table offers unique ways to be loved and served by a community that truly makes this place what it is. It is my biased opinion that Maggie Kane, who is the heart of this whole thing, is one of the reasons Table feels so special. The other reason is the fact the when people come together and are able to exercise their passions, build new relationships, are offered unique opportunities, and are working towards complete unity in Raleigh, it is going to feel like love.
There has never been a single moment where I have been in Table and not felt seen or heard. Not only am I greeted by cheery volunteers who are happy to serve, but they are clearly doing what they are passionate about. The same concept goes towards the staff! Andrew is doing what he is passionate about: cooking and as a result of that, the food is incredible. A Place at the Table is a space where different people with a myriad of talents come together and use their passions to serve their community. This reminds me of a quote by Joel Osteen, “I believe that God has put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of every one of us. When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe that you're a person of influence and a person of purpose, I believe you can rise up out of any situation,” every person affiliated with Table is aware and sharpening their talents and skills and use them to make Table what it is.
Another reason A Place at the Table means love to me is the new relationships you build. I have met people from all walks of life, who have left footprints on my heart and taught me new things about this world. I love building new relationships and it is clear the Table community feels the same. We were never meant to life live without relationships so with that we crave community! Table allows those who are of high economic means to break bread with those who are of lower economic means. This is a beautiful thing that happens Tuesday-Sunday from 7am - 2 pm.
I think we have all felt that need in our hearts to give back to our community. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and feel so blessed that I just want to share those blessings with the world. A Place at the Table has created a unique way for people to volunteer and give back to the Raleigh community. Being a non-profit restaurant, there aren’t waitresses or waiters that are paid to serve customers, but instead there are volunteers who serve these customers! I love how this form of volunteering is equally unique and satisfying. This is another reason why Table to me means love, because volunteers sacrifice their time to love on Raleigh and support our mission to stop hunger in Raleigh.
Which transitions well into my final point, because Table incorporates passion, new relationships, opportunities, and also unity. The heart of A Place at the Table is unity. Folks from all walks of life are invited into a space where religion, gender, sexual-orientation, financial status, education status, etc. doesn’t matter, what matters is sharing a meal together. Bob Ehrlich says, “Some of the most important conversations I've ever had occurred at my family's dinner table.”
We all come from different families. Some of us never shared a meal with our families. Some of us only know that sacred time. Whatever the background, all are welcome at our Table. You are welcome to share your passions, make new relationships, explore unique opportunities, and finally feel unified with something. Wrapping up all of these concepts in a bow, I see love. I see the smiles of people eating good, healthy food and spending time with those they love. It was almost too easy to write this blog, because I knew the answer to the question “What does a Place at the Table mean to me?” is love.
Written by Megan King