What a kick-butt idea!!!
“These pay-as-you-can cafes have missions that are unapologetically altruisticâ€”call it serving up fare Robin Hood style. “Our philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy, organic food while being treated with dignity,” explains Brad Birky, who opened SAME with his wife, Libby, in October. Customers who have no money are encouraged to exchange an hour of service â€” sweep, wash the dishes, weed the organic garden â€” for a meal. Likewise, guests who have money are encouraged to leave a little extra to offset the meals of those who have less to give. “We’re a hand up, not a hand out,” says One World owner Denise Cerreta, who prides herself on the fact that everyone can afford a meal at her cafÃ©.
The cafÃ©s’ business models have won fans among the city’s well-to-do residents, many of whom regularly dine there. At One World, patrons have given Cerreta a car, bought new dishes, arranged to professionally clean her carpets, supplied new tile for the restaurant bathrooms, and donated property for an organic garden and funded a new irrigation system for it. Last week, a gentleman left a $50 bill next to an empty bowl of soup at SAME. Since opening, one man has regularly come in and left money on the counter without eating, stating “I was blessed today so I though I’d pass it on.” He’s homeless.” via TIME.
I’ve always been a fan of exchanging ones time for another rather than diving into money talks. This probably occurred when I had to pay a lawyer recently, but I did continue this trend when my friend needed a design for his CD album. I knew he had little money, so I said I’d do it for free in exchange for his time down the road. I spent 15-20 hours designing the cover for him, and in exchange he said he’d give me a free concert (you know who ya are 😉 ). Buh yeah to to community driven ideas!(much like my thoughts on search engines)
SAME (SoAllMayEat.org) was inspired by another cafe, OneWorldEverybodyEats.com, for this great initiative.