JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A "pay what you can" restaurant in Johnson City is already changing lives.
It's close to a full house every day at the One Acre Café in Johnson City. "This is a community restaurant trying to give a hand up to people in need, so it's a pretty cool system," says supporter Preston Harris.
Harris is one of many who think the idea behind the cafe is brilliant. "When they volunteer, they're not just getting a meal, but they are getting an experience and a trade they can use to get back into a career," he said.
That's exactly what volunteer coordinator Bryan Orchard tells us the cafe is suppose to do. "It's taken them from one position in their life to another, so we are absolutely convinced that this is a space that will continue to serve and bring hope and life to this community," he said.
Orchard tells us they usually have three to four people a day who volunteer in exchange for their meals. "We've got folks that just step in and say, 'I'd like to volunteer for my meal today.' They are just out on the floor serving, being a part of that activity of the cafe, and that's just a beautiful thing," he said.
We learned it's a community effort to keep the cafe running. "It's no single individual. It's nobody that's here today. It's the community that comes in and engages this cafe and really understands the depth of power that this cafe can have," adds Orchard.
Harris encourages anyone who hasn't been to One Acre Cafe to come and support the great cause. "Everyone that works here is very friendly. Everybody's got a smile on their face and the food is delicious. It's very good," he said.
Orchard says they are open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 until 2:00. If you would like to volunteer at the One Acre Cafe you can stop in for lunch or call (423) 483-0517.