Kindness Goes a Long Way at This Restaurant

Feeding people one meal at a time,

Kindness Goes a Long Way at This Restaurant | Feeding people one meal at a time,

If you travel to Drexell and Honeybee's, a restaurant in Brewton, Alabama, you will enjoy a delicious traditional Southern meal. But how much you pay is entirely up to you. That’s because there are no prices on the menu.

 Drexell and Honeybees is a donation only restaurant that is feeding the hungry, one meal at a time.  Instead of paying a set price, people pay as much as they want or can, according to Newsweek, and some pay nothing at all. The restaurant doesn’t even list suggested donations for the meals.

The nonprofit restaurant was opened in 2018 by husband-and-wife team, Lisa Thomas-Macmillan and Freddie McMillan who are both retired. Their motto is “We Feed the Need,” and they see this as part of their lives’ mission.

Feeding the Hungry
There is real food insecurity in Alabama and Brewton with its tree-lined streets is no exception. In fact, a 2018 report from the nonprofit Hunger Free America showed that Alabama ranked the second highest in the US for food insecurity. The report showed that over 822,000 Alabamians went to bed hungry and many of them are elderly.

Thomas-Macmillan saw this first hand when she was serving lunches at a local community college, reported The Washington Post. The meals were free for people who could not afford them and the clientele was mostly students. One day three seniors came in and were digging through their  purses looking for change to pay with.

“I couldn’t take that [the coins], because I knew it had to be their last,” Thomas-McMillan told The Washington Post. So, she told them: “Can you help us out? We need to give away at least 10 free meals.” This was the inspiration Thomas-Macmillan needed to finally open the restaurant that she had been thinking about for many years.

Drexell and Honeybees 
The restaurant with its quirky name is open for lunches Tuesdays through Fridays serving home style food like mac and cheese, chicken dumplings, and cobblers with an all-volunteer staff. Drexell and Honeybees feeds around 100 people a day, many of them seniors.

“I have found out … a lot of elderly people are coming hungry, because a lot of them can’t pay for their medicine and buy food. Food stamps are not adequate,” said Thomas-McMillan.

People pay what the can by dropping donations in the box and it is totally anonymous.  The most common amount being $5, but the restaurant has been receiving checks in the mail and local businesses and people in the community have been donating food and money.

One of the things that Thomas-McMillan truly appreciates are the notes that are left in the donation box. One thanked Drexell & Honeybees for feeding a family of four their only meal that day. another note called the restaurant: “A blessing to the community.”

The restaurant is part of Carlisa Inc., Thomas-McMillan’s 501c3 nonprofit ministry that she started in 2002 with a food bank that is located in the church she attends. She still runs the food bank; feeding the hungry is part of her faith.

“I just feel like, when we’re down here, that we’re doing something so important and something just joyful,” Thomas-McMillan said. “Eating and fellowshipping with each other … it’s just the best feeling in the world.”

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