Consumers, visitors and people who work in the Beacon Mental Health building have long waited for the day when they could get a tasty breakfast or lunch right here in our building. Now that Beacon owns the building, the time was right to open a consumer-managed café in the back lobby, to serve wholesome, locally produced breakfasts and lunches from places like Scimeca’s, Margarita’s, and Longboards.

It opened up as “The Snack Shack”, but recently was renamed to be “The Lunch Box.” “We serve more than snacks, and this isn’t a shack!” explains Jimmy Rowland, the manager of the thriving business. 

It’s not just great food that is being served up at the Lunch Box, though. The people who volunteer at the counter are Beacon Mental Health consumers, and they are gaining valuable training and job skills there. Jimmy Rowland mentions that one of the volunteers is working on speaking up, and she is rapidly improving. Jimmy also selects themes for everybody to focus on each week, such as customer service or communication in the workplace.

One good break that got the business off to a booming start was a generous grant of $5,000 from the REACH Healthcare Foundation to Beacon, to be used for lunch vouchers at the Lunch Box for the employees of Beacon to dine together. The goal is to bolster good morale and build work friendships, and it seems to be working!

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