The holiday season is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year. There’s something very satisfying about being able to look back over the year behind us while also preparing for a new year and new possibilities. It’s a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for and to make plans for how we can pay it forward to others who may need something to feel thankful for. We’ve just passed our one year anniversary here at Eat Well, and are taking this holiday season to give back to the Nashville community that has given us so much!
Each week for the remainder of 2017, we’ll have a featured meal on our menu benefitting a Nashville nonprofit. $1 from each featured meal sold will be donated to a worthy local cause. Giving + Grub… It’s what the holidays are all about!
This week, we’re partnering with Open Table Nashville! $1 from every Chicken Bacon Ranch Stuffed Sweet Potato ordered now through November 17th will be donated to help Open Table in their mission of bettering our community through homeless outreach, education and advocacy.
If we could describe Open Table Nashville in one word, it would be “community.” When its founders made a commitment to the displaced residents of Nashville’s “Tent City” after heavy flooding in 2010, they weren’t on a mission to start a non-profit organization. When the flood waters receded and temporary shelters closed, city officials condemned “Tent City” without providing adequate alternatives for its former residents. The founders of Open Table Nashville began organizing volunteers, collecting donations, and finding solutions for the struggling former “Tent City” residents.
“We’re all motivated by our faith and that to us, an open table means a place where everyone is welcome.”
Through tough times and long hours, Open Table Nashville was born into a homeless outreach organization that disrupts cycles of poverty and makes sure that everyone has a voice. “When people ask about the name ‘Open Table Nashville,’” says Director and Co-founder Ingrid McIntyre, “they ask if it’s about a ‘food thing.’ I tell them that we’re all motivated by our faith and that to us, an open table means a place where everyone is welcome. The table is never too full and there’s always an open seat. I guess we could have called it ‘Available Chair,’ but that didn’t have the same ring.”
Co-founder Lindsey Krinks adds, “For us, an open table signifies fellowship, community, and radical inclusion. In other words, we’re not here just to make sure our friends on the streets get crumbs from the table. That is no more than charity. We’re here to make sure our friends have a place at the table, and that is about justice.”
Seven years after the flood, Open Table Nashville is committed to initiatives like homeless outreach, education, and advocacy. By partnering with local congregations and collaborating with groups like the Metropolitan Homelessness Commision, they’re helping more Nashvillians than ever.
With so many great programs, there’s always a way to volunteer your time and get involved with Open Table Nashville. You can find out more about how to volunteer here! You can also make a direct monetary donation to Open Table Nashville here.