A Paola family impacting their community around the dinner table

Rebecca Crockett
October 11, 2019 - 4:00 am
People sharing a meal around a dinner table



Paola, KS - What's For Dinner? It's the question that Tommy and Jennifer Wright's kids ask everyday, and everyday it's something they're able to provide. However, after seeing hundreds gather for breakfast at their church, the couple realized that not everyone can aford to feed their family, and they want to change that.

"We love our community and there is this food insecurity here like there are in most communities. Everyone deserves to have a meal and feed their family," explains Jennifer.

The Wright family is in the process of opening a "pay-what-you-can restaurant," expected to open early next year. They're calling it "What's For Dinner?." Tommy says they're renovating an old donated building that will be an inviting atmosphere, with quality meals, and a professional staff. 

Tommy says they want to create an atmosphere where people don' feel like they're getting a free handout. He wants people to feel like they're coming to a community table to share a meal with dignity. 

Jennifer works in a pet grooming salon and says for many older community members, their pets are all they have, "They sit in their homes until they come see me. "I really hope it's able to be an olive branch for people where they can come in and have fellowship, and coffee, and network, and do all the things that you should in a community."

The Wrights are working with the One World Everyone Eats organization, assisting over sixty pay-what-you-can community cafes across the nation, including Kansas City's Thelma's Kitchen. Jennifer says they're hoping to do more than serve people food, "We just want everyone to feel good and be happy, and then spread that."

Comments ()