Simply put, food is essential for life. It nourishes and sustains. But it's more than that—food is a common bond, a uniting force. We encourage you to seek out these special places, to thank them for caring and to join them however you can to advance our common goals in Raleigh, N.C., and beyond.

More than a meal at Carroll's Kitchen

Carroll's Kitchen, which opened in the fall of 2016 at the corner of Martin and Wilmington Sts., is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to help women who are leaving homelessness or incarceration. They strive toward this goal by creating opportunities for single women. Those opportunities come in the form of work at the restaurant, job training, life skills and housing.

"The women here come to us through partnerships we have with other organizations and with social workers," says Sara Acosta, Carroll's Kitchen communications director. "During their time in our program, they receive job training not only for restaurant skills like prep and baking but also life skills like time management and budgeting. When their year is coming to an end, we continue to help them transition into the job force."

Everyone on the team is excited about adding a second location—at Morgan Street Food Hall & Market, opening July 2018)—giving them the chance to help more women while serving up delicious eats.


The caring crunch at 1 in 6 Snacks/Carolina Kettle

When Josh Monahan graduated from North Carolina State University in 2017, he had already launched his company, 1 in 6 Snacks, and had a clear vision of his future. It was a vision shaped by his family's 65 years in the snack food industry and his desire to continue the tradition.

But Josh wanted to do more than just open another snack food company. He wanted it to mean something—to give back to his community and the world.

"The name 1 in 6 Snacks represents the one in six people in America who do not know where their next meal will come from, and we are out to change that statistic!" says Josh. "The first product that we offer is Carolina Kettle potato chips, and with each bag sold, we donate a portion of the proceeds to the food bank. We donate a nickel for each 2-oz. bag sold and a dime for each 5-oz. bag."

Currently Carolina Kettle has six unique flavors available online and in their retail store. Josh is working to secure more locations.


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Regardless of means at A Place at the Table

Wouldn't it be great if everyone have a place to eat, together? Maggie Kane believes so, and she's most of her young life working to that end. Maggie grew up in Raleigh where she volunteered at soup kitchens. While in college, she worked at a day center that provided space and meals for the underserved.

While these places provided important services, Maggie felt there was something missing—a sense of community around the table. She set out to change that.

Today, after years of research and planning, Raleigh is home to A Place at the Table, a pay-what-you-can cafe serving breakfast and lunch in downtown Raleigh. The menu is presented with suggested prices, and diners have the option to pay that price, to pay more, to pay less or to volunteer as payment for their meal.

"This truly is Raleigh's community cafe," says Maggie. "We have seen so much support from individuals who pay more or pay for others' meals and from businesses like Carolina Kettle and Larry's Coffee that have donated products. Everyone helps how they can."


Header image via A Place at the Table