One-Year Support for Fork Real Community Cafe
About the Work
Fork Real’s track record underscores its genuine commitment to building a stronger community. Acknowledging the limitations in fixing every issue, Executive Director Rhonda Pearcy employs her love language, “food,” as a way of breaking down community barriers. By sharing meals, conversations unfold that lead to increased opportunities and a more connected community.
Recognizing the impact of hunger on learning and health, the cafe addresses food insecurity by providing affordable, healthy meal options. In line with their commitment to meeting individuals where they are at, the café provides job training and employment opportunities to individuals displaying a willingness to learn. These individuals, each with unique life experiences, have found acceptance and opportunities for growth at Fork Real, contributing to the cafe’s mission of building a better community through food and conversation.
According to Executive Director Rhonda Pearcy, “the café is a place where change happens for those willing to accept the challenges. A story that stands out is single mom Kodi. People like Kodi make the stress of the job worth it.”
Kodi found Fork Real through a partnership between the Pennington County Drug Diversion Program and the café. Kodi was mandated to community service at the café. She was dependable, always on time, and really connected with the staff and other volunteers at the café. Soon after completing community service, Kodi was hired as a kitchen assistant. She worked for a full year before transitioning to full-time employment with a partner non-profit.
About Fork Real Community Café
Fork Real Community Cafe began in 2015 with the goal to be an active community partner in reducing community hunger. Since 2018, the cafe has served 60,358 meals with nearly 17,000 of those meals being gifted to families and individuals. The cafe is also a source of community outreach through volunteerism, workforce training and development through social enterprise. To expand community outreach, awareness, and support, the cafe added a food truck to the business model. This addition acts as a social enterprise while providing additional job opportunities.