EATON, Ohio (WDTN) – Preble County has one of the highest poverty rates in the Miami Valley and a local restaurant is doing its part to help feed those in need.
The Bistro at Eagle’s Point opened their doors last week in Eaton and is founded on a pay it forward concept. The bistro’s staff is run by volunteers comprised of retired community members and some less fortunate like Eric Showalter.
“You get a chef quality meal here for putting in a few hours of work,” said 59-year-old Showalter, who lives in a homeless shelter.
Whether you’re a professional or can’t afford a meal, you’re welcome at the bistro. In fact, it’s crucial to the restaurant’s pay it forward mission.
Menu items have a suggested price, typically around $6.
Here’s are your options to pay:
- Patrons can pay the suggested price and donate for someone else’s meal
- Pay just the suggested price
- Pay whatever you can afford
- Volunteer your time in exchange for a meal
“There’s a lot of people that eat out of dumpsters and things like that. If it wasn’t for this place, I have had to do that before,” said Showalter.
Showalter puts in his hours and eats a meal at the bistro every day that it’s open. Front of house manager, Myranda Schoen says Showalter’s work ethic is heartwarming.
“I didn’t realize we had a homeless problem until I started working at a homeless shelter. It isn’t something people want to think about it. It opened my eyes to see what the community needed and we needed this,” said Schoen.
12 percent of Preble County is living in poverty. Retired Eaton teacher and bistro volunteer, Lisa Noble says if any community can turn things around it’s hers.
“This is home to me. This community embraced me. The people are genuine and open their doors,” said Noble.
For bistro hours and additional information, click here.