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"Pay What You Can" Says Milwaukee Restaurant Owner to Low Income Residents

Tricklebee Café in Milwaukee for low income families

As a nation, Americans eat out frequently. According to the U.S. Healthful Food Council, Americans buy a meal or snack from a restaurant 5.8 times a week. This, however, is not a luxury that most low-income families can enjoy. One Milwaukee restaurant owner believes that dining out should be available for low-income people as well as those who can pay for it.
Whatever you can afford

Christie Melby-Gibbons is the owner and founder of the Tricklebee Café - a pay-what-you-can community café that offers healthy meals, food-service training, and spiritual nourishment to low income families.

Visitors to the restaurant can literally pay what they can afford and receive a healthy hot meal consisting of soup, salad, sandwich and baked goods. The suggested price is $5-$7, and about 95 percent of her customers pay this, but those who can't are benefited with a free meal.

Melby-Gibbons is one of 50 restaurants around the country who are introducing the "pay what you can" concept to help low-income families enjoy a healthy meal out. Those who can pay often give extra to help others who can't afford to eat out. As one customer expressed, “I think there are people here who would eat better if they could afford to eat better.”

Donations needed to keep it going

Fundraising is an important way to raise money to keep the restaurant open and serving low-income families and others. Melby-Gibbons said her goal is to raise about $28,000 to keep the non-profit cafe going this year. To learn more, visit www.tricklebeecafe.org or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tricklebeecafe/

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