MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As of 2020, more than 200,000 people in Shelby County are considered food insecure, a family business in Collierville working to change that.
When you walk into Graz’n Tables, you’re thrown into what could easily be mistaken for a very cozy living room because customers sit family-style.
“Everyone loved coming to our house growing up,” said co-owner Chelsey Barringer. She says her mom, Paula Kovacs, would decorate for every season– even Presidents Day.
“We started out at my house,” Barringer said. “Then we grew out of my kitchen to her kitchen. Then, we were blessed to come across this location.”
This fall, the doors of Graz’n Tables opened.
When asked where the name came from, Barringer explained, “People have a hard time pronouncing charcuterie, so they’d say give me one of those grazing boards.”
Coming from a family of cooks, her love of feeding her family has now spilled over into feeding Memphians in need.
“How are we a food city and we have one of the highest poverty rates in America,” Barringer asked. “So for me, it was like, ‘How do we fix this?”
The business gives away lunchboxes to children facing food insecurity in after-school programs, community centers and churches.
“When every lunch box is purchased here, an adult lunchable, it actually helps fund a kid lunchable. They get the same. It may not be like a PBJ, but it allows them to get nutritious meals,” said Barringer.
She also took us behind the scenes where she and her sister prepare pre-packaged meals for customers who can’t afford their food.
“The beautiful thing about growing up in Memphis is our community. We may have the headlines but the people in this city are one of a kind so I want to do my part and give back,” Barringer said.
For more information about Graz’n Tables, click here.