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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
A non profit restaurant that helps the homeless could use some help of its own from the community.
Chef Jim Noble founded The King's Kitchen in 2010 as a ministry for hungry and unemployed people in the Charlotte area.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and will soon be serving breakfast. When patrons dine at The King's Kitchen or use its catering services, 100 percent of the profits go towards giving free meals to people in need. The ministry also provides job training to help get unemployed Charlotteans back on their feet.
"One of the things I like the most is just the food," said King's Kitchen patron Katie Becker.
Since Becker works in uptown, the restaurant is a convenient spot for lunch, but she also appreciates the fact that every bite supports a mission to feed the homeless.
"That's one of the reasons I've chosen to support this restaurant, and I tell everybody about it," said Becker.
She's one of many loyal patrons, but there's a problem. The needs of the community are exceeding the restaurant's profits. Last year, The King's Kitchen gave away $100,000 worth of food and services, but only made half that amount. Noble says he's now forced to cut down on the number of meals he serves the homeless.
"I'm going to raise the funds," said Noble. "I know it'll happen. But until I do, we have to hold back for a minute. That's close to 300-400 meals that won't go out this week."
Noble could choose to focus on his other successful, for-profit restaurants in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, such as Rooster's, but he refuses to turn his back on The King's Kitchen.
"In our Christian faith, it was not suggested...we were told to take care of the widows, orphans, and the poor. When they come by and they're hungry, I've gotta find some way to get food to them," said Noble.
In order the carry out the mission, he's hoping the community will pitch in. He says one of the best ways to help is pretty simple:
"Come have dinner with us."
The King's Kitchen is located at 129 W. Trade St. in uptown Charlotte. For more information on the restaurant and catering business, click here.