“Food: why do some people have it, and others don’t? It just doesn’t make sense!” exclaims one interviewee featured in the short film Everybody Eats, the winner of the Lens on Hunger Award and a finalist in the 2016 Real Food Films contest. The film explores the pay-what-you-can model that a growing number of restaurants (also called “community cafés”) are employing. The head chef at one such restaurant in North Carolina says, “We’re just inviting you to be a part of us [and] be a part of our community…. Come chop some vegetables with us, or come have a meal with us.”
The Real Food Films contest was held online during the month of April, and viewers were invited to host screenings and vote for their favorite film. During a viewing of the top ten finalists at the local fair trade store in Three Rivers, Michigan, our small group decided to vote for this film: it sparked a dialogue about how the generous, collaborative spirit of these restaurants might be cultivated in our city.