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Pay-What-You-Can restaurant opens on Buffalo's lower west side

Big Big Table Community Cafe offers pay-what-you-can options, volunteering in exchange for meals, and donations to supplement cost
Posted at 9:26 PM, Oct 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-22 21:26:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The first of its kind in Western New York, Big Big Table is offering a new way to think about payment.

“How it works is you come in, you order, and we ask - how would like to purchase your meal today," said Theresa Dempster, the kitchen manager of the community cafe.

Big Big Table offers multiple ways of payment, including paying what you can, volunteering (such as washing dishes, cleaning tables, or even help in the kitchen), or donations of other food products.

The crew at Big Big Table said they decided to open this type of restaurant to help the Lower West Side of Buffalo, "a food desert," with not only access to affordable gourmet food, but food that is healthy as well.

“The people in this community have to fight to whether or not they are going to pay a bill, to clothe their child, or to eat. That should never be a question,” added Dempster.

The community cafe relies completely off the generosity of others to keep its doors open to the public. Much of its produce and food is donated by local farms and those in the community. In addition, it is nearly a full volunteer organization. If you are interested in volunteering at the Cafe, the link to apply can be found via their website, here.

If you would like to donate - donations are accepted in person or online, in the form of time, money, or food.

Hours of operation (at the moment) are:

Monday-Friday: 11a.m.-2:30p.m.