Many of us forget how prevalent of a problem hunger is in the United States. While us college students are able to literally eat an unlimited amount of food every night, an enormous amount of our population isn’t getting one of its basic survival needs met. I’m sorry to remind you of your miserable stats class, but “14% of households were food insecure” in 2014. If you wanna talk numbers that’s 48.1 million Americans. 48.1 MILLION people are worried about something that we take for granted every day.
Fortunately, some of our peers have taken the initiative to eradicate this issue. Check out the following five restaurants if you want to support the fight against hunger.
Rosa’s is known for it’s $1 a slice program to feed the homeless. Customers can come in and donate a dollar to cover the cost of someone else’s slice. A sticky note is given with the donation, where a heartwarming message can be written and then placed on a wall along with other sticky notes. Over 8,400 slices have been given to the local homeless. Next time you’re in Philly. consider stopping by. There’s no better combination than delicious pizza and knowing you did something good for someone else.
2. SAME Café
This eatery believes that everyone should have the opportunity to be treated with decency and enjoy a healthy meal. Customers pay however much they can afford, and can exchange an hour of community service at the restaurant for a meal if they are penniless. The menu varies just like the prices do. SAME Café believes so strongly in its positive message that a donation box is used instead of a cash register to pay for meals. Stop in next time you’re in the area, and you’ll be able to say you ate at Denver’s first nonprofit restaurant.
This kitchen has a similar motto to SAME Café. Customers can come in and eat a three-course meal regardless of how much they can afford. The dining experience begins with the guest’s choice of a soup or salad. It is followed by a fish, meat, or a vegetarian dish. The meal is then completed with a mouthwatering dessert.
Volunteering can go towards paying for your meal or you can simply volunteer on your own time. The dining experience typically costs $10 to cover food expenses, but any larger donation is more than welcomed to help cover the cost of other people’s meals. You may even get lucky and see Bon Jovi when you stop in.
4. Panera Cares
Besides being a go-to lunch destination, Panera also does its share to help those in need. There are four Panera Cares locations nationwide that have a “pay-what-you-can model.” These generous spots are in Clayton, MO, Dearborn, MI, Portland, OR, and Boston, MA.
If a guest is not able to contribute to their meal, there is an opportunity to volunteer in exchange for a meal voucher. Consider volunteering or donating at one of these locations. If one of these four locations isn’t near you, you can even contribute by stopping by your local Panera. There are always boxes at the registers collecting donations.
Karma Kitchen is helping combat hunger not just in the United States, but all over the world at its 22 locations. Some U.S locations are Chicago, IL, Washington, D.C, and Berkeley, CA. International locations are in places such as Singapore, Dubai, India, and France.
This eatery’s uplifting message is in its name: karma. The restaurants are run by volunteers, while each guest pays it forward to the next by covering the tab of those who dine after you. Karma Kitchen believes in selflessly giving to those around you. Cover someone’s meal at one of their national locations, or if you are abroad, consider checking out an international location during your travels.
If none of these restaurants are close to you and you still want to help fight hunger, donate food to your local food pantry. Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen. There are plenty of opportunities available to help those in need.