For Immediate Needs, Dial 211
St. Francis Catholic Kitchen has been serving the hungry in Santa Cruz for over 35 years.
Each week day noon, a hearty hot lunch is served to around 150 people. Food preparation, set-up, serving, and clean-up tasks are all done by community volunteers. Working under the daily direction of Mr. Richard Crowe, soup kitchen program director, all head chefs, sous chefs, and day leaders are volunteers, too.
Who is invited to lunch at the soup kitchen?
All those who are in need are welcome, regardless of race, creed, color or sex. St. Francis Catholic Kitchen considers those who enter the dining room as special guests.
When are meals served?
There is a cafeteria–style lunch served year round, every Monday through Friday, from noon to 1:00 PM.
What’s on the menu?
A different kind of hot soup is featured each day of the week. Besides a large bowl of nutritious, hot soup–loaded with meat and fresh vegetables or with legumes and vegetables — there is a bowl of green salad with dressing, a serving of fresh fruit, bread & butter, and milk. When available, a slice of pizza or a cake, pie or ice cream dessert will be served, too.
Four times per year, the dining hall is colorfully decorated for the season. At Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter, multi-course traditional holiday feasts are prepared. These special meals serve more than 275 people and are always shared with staff and residents of Jesus Mary Joseph Home.
What other services are available?
- Hot showers are available 11:00 am to 12:45 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Clothing Boutique, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Volunteers. At the soup kitchen, we aim to treat every guest with compassion, dignity, and respect. Volunteers quickly learn and are well aware that being homeless or on the streets is a serious challenge. When volunteering to serve the needy, smiles, calm voices, good manners, and kind words go a long way. Many volunteers have been with St. Francis for several years, or in some cases, for decades. The St. Francis mission would be impossible to carry out without these dedicated volunteers. A crew of 15 is needed at the soup kitchen for every meal.