Secret Lives of OhioHealth: Everybody Eats at Table One
What if there was a new way to do lunch? A place with friendly faces, delicious, healthy food and no prices? Well, there is … at Table One Kenton.
For Corey McMurray, physician assistant at Kenton Primary Care, the call to serve west-central Ohio goes far beyond a day’s work at OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital. As vice president of fundraising for Table One, a pay-what-you-can-afford community café, McMurray helps create a lunch experience that’s truly priceless.
“What I do at OhioHealth and Table One allows me to care for people at a much larger level,” said McMurray. “I can connect, empathize and live life with my neighbors and community.”
In rural Kenton, Ohio, nearly 1 in 4 people live below the poverty line, unable to afford enough food for themselves and their families. Table One is solving a community problem with a community solution.
Founded in 2016, the ministry’s pay-it-forward approach brings together patrons from a wide variety of backgrounds, family and employment situations, and socioeconomic arenas.
When people come, they pay what they can afford, which, sometimes, is nothing. But all are invited to contribute to the Table One community by washing dishes, clearing tables or wiping down menus. Every contribution, financial or otherwise, is recognized and appreciated.
Regular patrons and volunteers get next-level service and support, with career services, personal and professional references, and a community garden with fresh produce for all. When neighbors help neighbors, everybody eats – and everybody thrives.
Table One patrons have three ways to pay:
Pay what you can afford.
Pay with volunteer service.
Pay it forward for the next patron in need.
Individual, family and corporate sponsorships help make even more priceless meals possible. OhioHealth is a proud Table One sponsor.
Within this thriving nonprofit model, Table One provides lunches Wednesdays through Sundays, plus a free community dinner on Thursdays. They serve an average of 50 meals per day, with 15 to 20 of those meals being entirely complimentary.
But Table One’s café menu goes way beyond the usual spaghetti-dinner charity fare. You’ll find fresh-made soups and hearty salads, craft sandwiches and gourmet burgers, specialty pizzas and kids’ meals. Physical and emotional needs are met as new friends break bread within beautiful exposed brick walls and among fresh-cut table flowers.
“The short time I get with my patients in the office never feels like enough,” said McMurray. “Table One helps me connect with people outside the office, which contributes to their overall emotional health and the health of our community.”
A new way to dine out.
A new way to give back.
A new way to foster hope for Kenton and Hardin counties.
Table for one… and all.
This story was originally published in an internal OhioHealth associate publication.
OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007–2019.
Serving its communities since 1891, OhioHealth is a family of 30,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a system of 12 hospitals and more than 200 ambulatory sites, hospice, home health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit OhioHealth.com.