Dining with Dignity

Everybody eats, but not everybody eats well.

Meaning, not everybody has access to healthy food that tastes good. We don’t know about you, but that’s in pretty direct odds with our personal and professional philosophy.

We’re not going to lie. Sometimes, staring poverty or homelessness or addiction in the face is uncomfortable, especially if it’s sitting right next to you. It’s real, and it’s raw, and it’s unfair. We know you didn’t ask for it, and you didn’t cause it, and maybe you don’t really understand why it’s happening, but it doesn’t matter. It’s here, and we need your help to fix it.

That’s what dining with dignity is all about. We know our community is experiencing its fair share of struggles, we see it every day. But seeing isn’t enough, because we can’t in good conscience know that some folks in our community are going hungry and do nothing. It’s not our style, and we hope it’s not yours either.

So, we’ve got this thing, and it’s small, but it’s ok because we’re totally fine with starting small and working our way up to the big stuff. It’s our soup token program, which works when you buy a soup token for $4.50 and give it to someone in the community who looks like they could use a hot meal. They come in when they’re ready, and we hook them up—no questions asked.

We know that a bowl of soup isn’t going to fix poverty or the systemic issues that cause it. It’s not going to end homelessness—it can’t do those things, it’s just soup. But it can help, it can provide warmth and comfort and the experience of feeling like part of a community. That’s not nothing, especially for those getting by with so little.

And because Gabriel’s is a community space, for this thing to work it needs you; your warmth and compassion; your beautiful, welcoming smile; your words of comfort, your four-fifty. Whatever you can muster, even if it’s just sitting in your discomfort for a bit, we’ll take it. Don’t worry, we’ll be right there for you with a hot cup of coffee and our own kind words.

And if you can’t do that stuff, that’s ok, we just ask you to appreciate that for many, this might be the first hot meal they’ve had in a while. They don’t want to be dirty or hungry. They just want something to eat in a safe space.

Oh, and one last thing. If you’re having a hard time, we ask that you just talk to us, please, and tell us what you’re thinking. We’ll try our best to make sure you feel safe in our space, because Gabriel’s belongs to you too.