Whether you want to "sit in a corner and ignore the world" or pile in with friends and "make a lot of noise", Shannon Tharratt wants her Benalla cafe to be welcoming for the vulnerable youth who come through the doors.
One Wild Apple is among four venues in the city participating in the Fair Feed program co-ordinated by North East Support and Action for Youth (NESAY).
"It's a topic I'm really passionate about," Ms Tharratt said.
"Compared to Melbourne, there's not many initiatives in Benalla to help this particular demographic, so I was really excited when NESAY approached me about taking part."
Using a Fair Feed card, youth participating in the program can pay $3 and receive a meal valued up to $15, with NESAY refunding the difference.
Ms Tharratt believed there were many young people in the community who would benefit.
"I think it often goes unseen - with most people it's not obvious," she said.
"You don't know what's going on in somebody's life."
Benalla Council youth development co-ordinator Stephanie Brack agreed there was a need for the program.
"When I was in family services, an organisation part of the council that works with Benalla's vulnerable families, we did a lot of referrals to NESAY," she said.
"We try to help young people avoid going into the child protection sector and becoming homeless.
"Some people might think $15 is not that hard to afford, but for young people who are our must vulnerable in the community, it can be a lot.
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"Offering a safe place like One Wild Apple, where you can come in and the people won't judge you ... it can be a life-saving program."
The launch of the Benalla Fair Feed program comes as Ms Brack prepares for next week's session of youth mental health first aid for people in the community.
"We've got the Live4Life program in Benalla which is a youth mental health program that's getting quite some traction," she said.
"We run mental health first aid for year 8 and year 11 students at Benalla P12 College, FCJ College and the Flexible Learning Centre.
"We do a celebration at the end of the year to add more of a happy focus to such a heavy topic for young students."
The participating cafes in the Fair Feed program in Benalla with One Wild Apple are Bertalli's Alpine Breads, Noodle for U and Betty's Burger Cafe.
NESAY welcomes donations to allow them to run the initiative and others like it.
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