KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — One Acre Cafe’s decade-long run serving the community on West Walnut Street ended this summer, but its leaders managed to help fund the fight against hunger one last time Monday.
One Acre Board Chairman Bryan Orchard presented Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee with a $24,000 check. The money was left over proceeds from One Acre’s recent dissolution as a 501c3 nonprofit. The restaurant’s last day operating was May 12.
“We’re really proud of the work that had happened and the lives that were changed over the course of 10 years,” Orchard said as he stood at Second Harvest headquarters with Executive Director Rhonda Chafin.
“Second Harvest is a partner in food insecurity, and so we’re glad to come alongside them and to share what remains of the heartbeat of One Acre Café.”
From December 2013 to mid-2023, One Acre Café offered restaurant quality lunch fare, prepared with local-sourced ingredients and served by volunteers with a price suggestion instead of a bill at the end of the meal. Those unable to pay were invited to work at the restaurant in exchange for food, and guests were invited to “pay it forward” if they had enough resources to help others.
State regulations governing nonprofits allowed One Acre to donate its remaining assets to another nonprofit within the area that had a similar mission. One Acre’s board sent requests for proposals to a handful of area nonprofits and in the end, Second Harvest’s was seen as aligning best.
Chafin said seeing One Acre Close its doors was “hard to see,” but that the donation would be well-used.
“We get many donations in different forms or fashion, but when we get a donation from an organization that has done so much wonderful work and we see it come to a close it does touch our hearts,” Chafin said.
“I know that they want to see this continue to help feed the hungry and the food insecure and we will do that.”
The funds come in handy as Second Harvest kicks off its annual “Project Thanksgiving” season.
The annual effort is “to help families for Thanksgiving to assure that they will have that traditional Thanksgiving meal,” Chafin said. “It’s donations like this that will help us feed families in need and we’re so appreciative to the board, the community that supported One Acre Café.”