Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of food will Destiny serve?
To the best of our ability, Destiny will serve local soulful meals that are locally sourced, organic, healthy and delicious! You are provided with a three-course healthy meal and organic as much as possible. Sample Menu consist of your choice of a soup or salad, an entree, veggies and a dessert. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available.
Menus will change daily to facilitate local, seasonal sourcing, stimulating the local economy. We are seeking a Coffee, Tea, and Juicing sponsor for our beverage bar, and we will provide fresh juices, healthy teas, and more!
Why is serving local food so important?
Growing and serving local food promotes food security and sustainability and lessens our carbon footprint by reducing transportation and packaging costs, and waste inherent to multinational corporate farming enterprises and the large scale industrial food system. Local sourcing revitalizes the local economy – research shows prosperity rises when local and regional food inputs are the norm. Finally, because the time involved in bringing crops from farm to table is vastly reduced with local sourcing, and because crops are ripened in the field and not forced ripened, the nutritional value of local food is superior.
Why serve organic food and anti-biotic/hormone free meat and dairy when corporate sourced, industrial agriculture food is usually much cheaper?
While evidence is inconclusive, researchers are increasingly studying links between consumption of anti-biotic, pesticide-sprayed and hormone-packed food and certain types of cancer, ADHD, and early puberty. The journal Pediatrics documented the link between pesticide consumption and children’s risk of developing ADHD. One box of processed, mainstream cereal may contain as many as 32 pesticides, most of them toxic. People consuming organics had up to 82% less pesticides in their urine. Rampant use of antibiotics in livestock has led to animals building resistance to these chemicals, prompting a rise in illnesses resulting from consumption of beef, chicken and pork containing anti-biotic resistant strains of Salmonella and intestinal bacteria. Other studies have suggested a link between hormones in milk and precocious (early) puberty, particularly in girls. Considering the health costs associated with these diseases, the price differential between organics and conventionally grown food is debatable! Besides, organics taste better!!!
Why have customers pick their portions?
Choosing portion size and variety counteracts two major problems – food waste and rampant obesity. When people select what they want, they are more inclined to eat everything they order without overeating. Seventy billion tons of food is wasted annually in the United States. Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, with poor and minority populations disproportionately affected. Right-sized, nutritious meals are one solution!
Isn’t Destiny just an upscale soup kitchen?
Absolutely not! Patrons who cannot pay or can pay very little are offered the dignified option of working in exchange for their meal. Tasks include washing dishes, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, assisting with food preparation and volunteering in the greenhouses and at the farms sourcing us! Moreover, at Destiny, customers who are facing hunger and poverty will be able to regain one of the first things wrested away when crisis sets in – choice.
How is Destiny Community Café funded?
Destiny is funded through direct donations from financially able customers who pay more than their meal is worth, through fundraising projects, and through individual donor contributions and grants. In-kind donations include vegetables from Josph Fields & Fields Farm, Leagree Farms, Food Desert Oasis, Fresh Future Farm, reduced rates from local farmers and producers.
Will Destiny create sustainable jobs?
Not only will Destiny employ people in the café and for catering assignments, we will also provide ongoing vocational training in the food and restaurant sector as well as professional development through internships. We are committed to providing a living wage and job security for our employees. Fair compensation is essential to human dignity. Thus, the Destiny model will set an example for other enterprises and help bring economic sustainability to the community.
Why use volunteers?
Volunteering and giving back to the community are at the heart of our business success, contributing to our sustainability. By asking those who cannot pay for their meals or who can pay very little to volunteer with us, we provide a true “hands-up” rather than a ”handout,” helping them garner skills to return to self-sufficiency. In general, volunteers and interns receive valuable employment experience: They use their passion to be a guest chef, teach a workshop, help with food prep in a busy kitchen, or work in a community garden in a constructive and productive way. The inclusive atmosphere of the café also allows volunteers to offer a listening ear or words of encouragement to those needing an emotional, spiritual or practical lift! See website to sign ups to volunteer 2016.
What about community outreach?
Destiny is designing a comprehensive outreach plan including educational activities in schools, community centers, faith communities and more. We will be setting up shopping and cooking classes for low-income individuals and those on government subsidies aimed at improving efficiency and nutrition in family meals. Destiny will participate in a variety of community events, festivals, etc.
Where did this idea come from?
Motivated to end hunger and provide a wholesome meal to all regardless of ability to pay, Denise Cerreta pioneered the “pay as you can,” non-profit restaurant model in 2003 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Denise then went on to lead the One World Everybody Eats Foundation, an offspring of that first café (http://www.oneworldeverbodyeatsfoundation.org ). This non-profit model now boasts 30 community café’s nationwide, with many more in the startup stage.
The Donation-Based Business Model
Destiny has a board of directors, with no more than 11, but no less than three people occupying positions on the board at any given time. Destiny relies on the experts, so they have an accountant, a lawyer, a new PR person, as well as people with experience in the non-profit world. They are also members of the One World, Everybody Eats Foundation which is the brainchild of Denise Cerreta.
The Human Aspect
Destiny Community Cafe’s goal is to make sure that everybody has access to healthy affordable food. There have also been several instances of volunteers getting valuable experience with the cafe and then moving on to find work in the foodservice industry. The cafe doesn’t just provide healthy meals, they also provide job training. It’s one more way that Destiny gives back to the community.
Destiny Community Cafe can receive cash and in-kind tax deductible contributions.
Volunteers are welcome.
Come boost your spirits by paying it forward to this innovative community initiative!!!