The Soup Kitchen got its official start during the Great Depression of 1929, a period of devastating national poverty that caused the poor of this Detroit community to knock on the monastery’s back door asking for bread. “They are hungry; get them some soup and sandwiches,” Fr. Solanus was known to say to the friars. In time the lines grew to more than 2,000 people waiting for their single meal of the day. The friars knew they had to do more.
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen…Today
Currently, the Soup Kitchen serves an average of 2,000 meals a day from our Meldrum and Conner locations. In addition, the Capuchin Services Center monthly distributes thousands of articles of clothing, furniture and appliances, and tons of food for families to take home and prepare in their own kitchens. 25 to 30 people a day who have no other bathing facilities available, shower and receive a clean set of clothing at the Meldrum location. Tutoring and art therapy services for children are offered at the Conner facility. Jefferson House provides residential treatment services to men seeking to reclaim their lives from addictions. On the Rise Bakery trains returning citizens in baking techniques and life skills development. And Earthworks Urban Farm produces organic vegetables and offers hands-on instruction in urban farming.
1820 Mt. Elliott St., Detroit, 48207