Trinity Cafe is a free restaurant that offers meals to homeless, hungry, and food insecure. Guests are asked for nothing in return – no mandatory religious services, counseling or proof of need. Our restaurant quality meals are prepared by a professional chef and served by volunteer servers. Guests sit at cloth-covered tables set with dishes and silverware.
Many of Trinity Cafe’s guests are homeless and jobless. But the food insecure have quickly become a segment of the population who find themselves at our door – often running out of money before the end of the month to feed themselves and their families. Women, children, the elderly, and physically and mentally challenged individuals comprise many of the multitudes we serve. Their stomachs are empty, and they are eager to receive a nourishing meal – for many the only food they will eat all day.
One in six people in our region don’t know where their next meal will come from. Many at-risk children won’t eat between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast provided at school. Each day, Trinity Cafe addresses the nutritional needs of the hungry and homeless of Tampa Bay by serving a well-balanced, restaurant quality meal. It is served with unconditional respect and a sense of dignity. Nutrition is critical to the well-being of those facing “Food Insecurity” in our community. We strive to ensure no one goes away hungry.
Trinity Cafe’s model of unconditional service can be replicated in any community. Our guidance is intended as a starting point to begin discernment, conversation and planning the launch of a Trinity Cafe. We ask that the intent and model, which is to restore a sense of dignity to the hungry and homeless while serving a nutritious meal, is followed, and to do so in an environment of unconditional service with acceptance, compassion, love and respect.
Core values include:
Margaret Meade said, “Never doubt that a thoughtful and committed group of citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
You will need a network of people to help you succeed. Develop a core group of committed individuals to begin this effort. A steering committee can help with planning, leadership, vetting locations, communication and community engagement. Word of mouth, development, marketing, and communications will be critical to success.
For more information on how you can adopt the Trinity Cafe “model” in your community “to restore a sense of dignity to the homeless and hungry while serving a nutritious meal,” download our Fact Sheet below and/or contact Mandy Cloninger, Executive Director.
Trinity Cafe has been successful because the local community supports these efforts. Generous donors, individuals, businesses and foundations support the organization financially and with volunteer support. This effort was cultivated and developed with a core group of individuals from the beginning and continues today.