December 23, 2016 — The Pope Francis Center in downtown Detroit will be providing nutritious meals to homeless people on Christmas and beyond, thanks to a new grant. The Jesuit-run homeless service center’s Nutritious Food Program was made possible by combined gifts of $320,000 from UAW-Ford and UAW-GM. The center welcomes 150 guests on an average day.
The Nutritious Food Program will provide 20,000 healthy meals per year to the city’s homeless, including holiday meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks to the grant, the first two years of the program are fully funded.
“The most accessible foods for the homeless come from shelters, soup kitchens, fast food restaurants or dumpsters — all of which can be high in salt, fat, preservatives and empty calories," explained Jesuit Father Tim McCabe, executive director of the Pope Francis Center. "This type of diet can exacerbate serious health problems and increase aggression.”
On Thanksgiving morning, roughly 150 guests were treated to scrambled eggs with onions, spinach, and a variety of colored peppers; turkey sausage; oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh berries; whole grain bagels; bananas; coffee; milk; and juice.
In an effort to support local business, ingredients for the Nutritious Food Program will be purchased from Detroit vendors whenever possible.
“UAW-Ford and UAW-GM are investing not just in the lives and health of our guests but in the betterment of our community," said Fr. McCabe. "The trickle-down effect will be far-reaching.”
In addition to serving meals, the Pope Francis Center provides hot showers, laundry and access to doctors, dentists, lawyers, mental health professionals and housing providers through free clinics. Learn more about the ministry at www.popefranciscenter.org.
[Source: Midwest Jesuits]