ABOUT THE PROJECT

Mandala Café will be a pay-by-donation café, dedicated to providing food and fellowship — a place at the table for all folks, neighbors coming together to break bread and boundaries — sharing food, space and conversation.

Although its primary focus will be on displaced and at-risk persons, the café will be open to all. Rather than following the traditional “soup kitchen” model, the café will offer sit-down table service. In order to provide dignity and connection for the guests, it will also foster interaction between people of diverse backgrounds (young students mixing with elders, the dispossessed mingling with neighborhood professionals).

In Phase I, the Café will provide a weekly free meal (donations accepted) for people in the Morningside Heights/W, Harlem neighborhood.

The ultimate goal is for Mandala Café to have its own space for a full restaurant.

How it will work:

  • People pay the suggested donation of $10 for a three-course meal
  • People may work at the café for one hour to earn credit for one meal. Tasks include: cleaning, serving, kitchen prep, and gardening. It is possible to bank hours for future meals. One can also earn meal credits by volunteering at affiliated non-profit organizations and social service agencies.
  • Guests may purchase meal tickets for themselves or others.

An application is in process for Mandala Café to become a Not-For-Profit (501.c.3) organization. The Wind Beneath My Wings Foundation will serve as the Mandala Café's fiscal agent.