Fort Dodge Woman Starting ‘Pay What You Can’ Cafe

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FORT DODGE, Iowa — A Fort Dodge woman is using her baking skills to try to fight hunger and food insecurity in her town.

Jodie Tietsort is a recovering alcoholic who wanted to do something to pay back the town that helped her recover.

Tietsort is launching Southwest Circle Cafe, a place for people to pay what they can to eat. If they do not have money, they can eat for free.

She is working with One World, an organization opening cafes with the same motto around the country.

“You can pay what you can, or if you don’t have anything, we’re gonna serve you anyway. What we ask is that you volunteer after you eat,” said Tietsort, who has already rounded up some volunteers to open the cafe.

The cafe, located  in the 1000 block of Central Avenue, will take up two storefronts, which have been abandoned for several years.

Tietsort and her crew of volunteers have had numerous community organizations step up to help them.

“We’ve had wonderful turnout from the community,” Tietsort said. “Allers Associates, with our architectural work, Woodruff Construction, Fletcher Woods and Day Break Rotary has stepped in and wants to sponsor us.”

The Rotary Club will offer a certain number of meals per month for those who can’t pay.

The Southwest Circle Cafe is still under renovation and opening day has not been announced yet.

People wanting to know more about this can check out Southwest Circle Cafe on Facebook.


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