Table Grace Cafe in Omaha, NE: A True Inspiration for Communities Everywhere
Matt the Friendly Manager at Table Grace Cafe
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Fresh & Tasty Pizza
"Lucky Smith" (left)
Happy Customers & Original Art
Table Grace Cafe Interior
It is the most basic of human needs. Aside from water and air, we need food to survive. Once upon a time food was a hard commodity to come by and few people enjoyed true abundance. Fortunately, 21st century technology has revolutionized agriculture. Despite this,over 20,000 people die of hunger daily. When we hear about "hungry populations" we often think of slums in developing nations or tribes in arid parts of Africa. We seldom think of people going hungry right in our own hometowns.
On a recent walk through downtown Omaha, my husband and I discovered a cute eatery called Table Grace Cafe. We admired the original artwork displayed on the walls and had the pleasure of meeting the manager (Matt) who informed of us that the mission of Table Grace Cafe is to "foster a healthy community by offering great food prepared and served in a graceful manner to anyone who walks through the door."
Good quality food (including organic) is donated weekly by high-end chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Wholner's. It is then prepared fresh daily and served with a smile.The menu is wonderful in its simplicity, consisting of fresh salads, soups and pizza. There are no prices on anything, but donations are accepted and greatly appreciated. According to Matt, it's a "give-give situation where everyone wins. It's all about helping each other and reaching out to the community. Some people give food, some give their time, and others give generous monetary donations."
While taking photographs for this article, I met "Lucky Smith" and he told me his story. Lucky was waiting for a bus on a very cold day when his friend suggested they eat lunch at Table Grace Cafe. Lucky had no money, but he enjoyed a good meal and had the opportunity to escape the cold. In appreciation for the kind hospitality he had received, Lucky donated 15 minutes of his time to wash dishes.
This experience inspired Lucky to take advantage of Matt's community outreach program, which is to train people in the culinary arts so that they can get a paying job in the future. The trainees work hard as they learn about food preparation, operation of kitchen equipment and customer service. Lucky proudly informed me that his goal was to be one of Matt's success stories. After meeting him, I have no doubt whatsoever that he will succeed.
Every city in the world should have a place like this. Not only does it provide the needed sustenance for those who cannot afford it, it also provides them with dignity. Table Grace Cafe is a place where everyone can sit and eat together as equals. And that is one of the main components of a healthy society.
Table Grace Cafe is located on 1611 1/2 Farnum Street in downtown Omaha, NE (68102). For hours, menu and Facebook updates, please visit the Table Grace Cafe website: http://www.tablegracecafe.com/
I highly recommend this eatery to anyone who appreciates good food and a healthy social environment. As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist
Table Grace Cafe Exterior
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