Two furloughed restaurant workers — with more stimulus money than they felt they needed — pooled their resources and knowledge of the restaurant business in April 2020 and founded Lunch People, a free food service in Eugene that answered the call to rising food insecurity at the start of the pandemic. From that humble start, Miranda McKeever and Corey Prunier opened the nonprofit Acorn Community Cafe on Monroe Street almost a year ago, and the upcoming Acorn Community Cafe Benefit Bake Sale and Food Drive, put on by Equiano Coffee, is just one of the many positive responses it has received from the community. “People have finally come to know we’re here,” McKeever says. All sales at Acorn fund its free vegan lunches for people in need. McKeever notes that she has heard from grateful people who have lost their jobs or apartments in the past two years and have received meals from Acorn. Donations to Acorn have now allowed McKeever and Prunier to set up a food pantry outside the cafe every Tuesday. This is community comradeship at its finest.
The Acorn Community Cafe Benefit Bake Sale and Food Drive is 10 am to 2 pm Sunday, March 13 at Equiano Coffee, 300 Blair Boulevard. Acorn Community Cafe is at 769 Monroe Street, and it’s open 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday. The free outdoor pantry program at the cafe is noon to 5 pm every Tuesday.