GREENSBORO, N.C. — A restaurant in the Triad recently converted to a pay-what-you-can business model.

Caitlin Ryan owns Little Light Bread and Soup Company in Greensboro.

What You Need To Know

  • 1 in 5 children and 1 in 7 adults face hunger in the state, according to

  • A Greensboro restaurant is hoping to help those who can't afford to buy a whole meal by allowing them to pay what they can

  • Little Light Bread and Soup Company also gives back to public safety workers like police officers and firefighters

The restaurant used to serve traditional Italian food, but it switched up the cuisine to American dishes and began offering a pay-what-you-can option when it relaunched in February. 

Sous chef Tim Mills assists Ryan in the kitchen and says he has personally seen the impact they are having on the community. 

“I had a guy come in two nights ago with no money, and he got chicken and donuts on us,” Mills said. 

According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 47 food deserts across the Piedmont Triad and at least 150,000 struggling with food insecurity. 

Related: Greensboro City Commission OKs Lidl purchase that will eliminate food desert

And restaurants like these help lessen that burden on food pantries who report that they are still struggling to keep food in stock.

But that's not the only difference the company is making. 

It also gives back to public safety workers like police officers and firefighters.

Recently Mills dropped off a half a dozen meals to a fire station. 

“There is not too many places you can do things like this,” he said. 

But there are a few.

Raleigh has a pay-what-you-can restaurant called A Place at the Table, and in Winston-Salem Hope City Church launched Hope Coffee Co., which follows a similar model.

For a list of food pantries and other resources in your area, click here