Fork Real Café builds community through food and conversation
Fork Real Café started seven years ago when a Rapid City family Rhonda and Dave Pearcy had a vision to fill a need for food security in our community. It turned into much more than just feeding people.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Fork Real Café is a regular sit-down café with a mom-and-pop feel, but what is special about it is that customers are offered different ways to participate by either paying for their meal, paying it forward for someone in need or volunteering for their meal.
Dave Pearcy, Co-Founder Fork Real Café, says, “Every dime, every penny people spent here at the Café or donate to the Café goes right back in the mission of helping people.”
The unique non-profit Café model takes a collaboration of volunteers and staff to help reduce hunger and improve food security in Rapid City.
Dave Pearcy touches on the connections made at Fork Real Café and how customers to the Café can open doors to community connections. The outreach of Fork Real reaches more than just the Café.
The community impact and outreach is immeasurable and it takes many community partnerships to make it successful.
Dave says, “But it does really take a lot of resources, a lot of volunteers, a lot of time and just a lot of brainstorming about how are you going to make it work, how are you going to make a Café work.” Dave adds that many connections are made at the Café and visitors are able to get connected with community partners they may need to succeed in the future.
Volunteers are able to gain job skills to put on a future resume and their efforts are crucial to run a nonprofit.
“Volunteers not only make, not only Fork Real’s organization great, but also other nonprofits across the community, that’s how we all operate as a nonprofit,” says Dave.
After retirement, Linda Rabe wanted to give back to the community in a mission of the heart.
Linda Rabe, Fork Real Volunteer, says, “ I love that I am giving back to an organization that give so much to the community and I love when I do get out into the front to see dignity and respect that they give everybody that comes in, whether you can afford to pay for it or not, and I love to see the people that do come back and volunteer to pay for their meal, how much pride it gives them, it’s just heartwarming.”
Thursday, South Dakota Community Foundation granted $20,000 to help support the ongoing success of the Café.
Stephanie Judson, Pres. & CEO South Dakota Community Foundation, says, “They are a great part of the community’s effort to address food insecurity and we are really grateful to the services they provide to all people here in the Rapid City area.”
The money will be used for general operations.
The Café also offers catering, curbside meals, and cheesecake orders. They serve lunch Tuesday – Friday from 11 a.m. -1:30 p.m. They also offer meeting spaces and they are open Sundays for special events.
Dave Pearcy talks about Fork Real as a vessel, catering to people of all walks of life with conversations taking place that may lead to a better future for a café customer:
They also have a small food pantry for people to take home items.
Click here for the Fork Real Café website. The organization is always in need of volunteers.