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The Dallas Morning News

Just as Cafe Momentum was growing, Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe was making an impact through its Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness initiative. Ruthie’s serves grilled cheese sandwiches to the staffs of nonprofits and highlights their missions to Ruthie’s larger customer base. Since its inception, the Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness program has supported more than 185 nonprofits in North Texas. Although Ruthie’s and Cafe Momentum are separate organizations, our goal and focus are the same: to impact and build a better community — a whole community.

As Ruthie’s founder Ashlee Kleinert and I talked about ways to partner beyond traditional donations, we recognized there could be a way to reimagine this philanthropic relationship. Cafe Momentum needed a business partner willing to join in our mission. So, beginning this month, youth who complete the 12-month Cafe Momentum internship program will have the opportunity to begin a paid fellowship with Ruthie’s food trucks, where they will develop additional skills in the restaurant industry and access the support they need to continue their path to personal success.

What’s more, Cafe Momentum’s partnership with Ruthie’s is unique because we will put the youth in charge. They may take the truck where they please, into their own communities and neighborhoods. Doing so gives them the place at the table they deserve, the chance to decide how they will impact their communities as they, members of those communities, know best.

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