Cafe staff makes donation.....

November 19, 2014

Cafe staff makes donation.....

Today's Richland Source Headlines

City Garden Café donates tips

Mansfield – Some individuals and families supported by Richland Newhope will benefit from $715 in tip money collected over the past 10 months at the City Garden Café in the Mansfield Municipal Building.

Operated by Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI) in partnership with the city of Mansfield, the City Garden Café opened in late January. The café provides employees with disabilities the opportunity to receive on-the-job experience in a food service setting.

“When the café opened, the plan was not to accept tips because staff are paid at or above the minimum wage and aren’t considered tipped employees,” said Michael Bradley, manager of business development for RNI. “Also, it is a training site and staff eventually move on to other opportunities. However, customers insisted that the staff accept tips.”

Bradley said café employees held a meeting in March to discuss what to do with the money that was being collected. A decision was made to donate it around the holidays to a needy cause. In October the team decided all tips collected by Nov. 1 would go to the food pantry operated by Richland Newhope’s Service and Support Administration (SSA).

“The money will be used to stock the pantry when it gets low and provide food cards to individuals and families in need throughout the year,” said SSA Director Michele Giess.

Giess said it’s difficult to say exactly how many people will benefit. She said, as the need arises, SSA staff can get food directly from the pantry that’s maintained at SSA offices, 220 Home Ave., or they can provide a gift card so individuals or families can purchase items directly from a store.

Bradley said they are already planning to donate tip money collected now until November 2015 to another worthy community organization.

The City Garden Café is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and serves breakfast and lunch items, including specialty sandwiches, salads, soups, and gourmet coffee. Since it began operations in January, five individuals who have trained there have moved on to other jobs in the community.

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