A last-ditch effort is being made to save the Footscray branch of Lentil as Anything and stop it closing by the end of this month.

A not-for-profit “pay what you feel” restaurant, Lentil as Anything has been struggling to stay open as meagre donations tumble to record lows.

Volunteers last Monday served 115 plates of food, collecting only $148 – less than $1.30 per serving.

Restaurant manager Renae Greer Burt said such low takings didn’t even cover the cost of food, let alone other costs.

Ms Burt said unless donations improved by month’s end they would be forced to shut their doors after almost eight years in Footscray.

“We’re asking the community to get behind us and support us, if not financially, then by sharing the news and encouraging people to help Lentils out,” she said. “We’re trying to buy some time, but if our donations don’t show a consistent improvement we will have to close.”

Ms Burt said those not able to contribute to the cost of a meal could help in other ways such as volunteering.

The restaurant serves more than 200 meals a day and Ms Burt fears its closure would be a massive blow for those doing it tough.

“I don’t think people realise what they’ve got here; it’s a case of not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

But Lentil as Anything won’t go without a fight and a fundraising day is organised for Sunday, March 26.

A gofundme page is at www.gofundme.com/savelentilasanythingfootscray