The churches of Fredericksburg, through Micah, have launched a community cafe. The goal is to provide healthy food in a welcoming atmosphere, just like any fast casual restaurant that you or I might eat in on a daily basis. Guests are greeted at the door with a menu and have choices between a couple different items that will change from week to week. They place an order and have a chance to make a suggested donation, give more, less or nothing at all. With a pay-what-you-can structure, the cafe is literally open to anyone—from the community business person to someone who slept on the street last night. No matter their circumstances, guests receive a number and food brought to them by one of many volunteers. Volunteers are a big part of this operation, but the core function of the cafe—food preparation—is handled by our current and formerly homeless who are learning how to work in a restaurant. Upon completion of the five-week program, these participants have basic food-service skills, are Servesafe certified, have a reference and get assistance finding a permanent job. By supporting the cafe you are not only generating healthy food options for people struggling with food insecurity, you are encouraging all members of our community to share common spaces, and you are helping equip people with barriers to employment for mainstream jobs.
There are many volunteer opportunities as well, from people who bus tables to folks to sit and listen as “neighbors”.