Nourishing food – both physical and spiritual – is provided twice a month on Fridays by Michigan Area members at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen, housed in the Center for the Works of Mercy in Detroit.
This effort is organized by Kathleen Mastrangelo, DM. Michigan Area members, supervised by master chef Burt Dearing, prepare and serve lunch to scores of poor and homeless people, and also make sandwiches that these guests can take with them. At the June 9th soup kitchen, for example, Michigan Area members made hamburgers for 85 people.
In addition to providing tasty soups and sandwiches, Michigan members also offer a listening ear, spending time with their guests over lunch. Many of these guests lack access to health care and health insurance, so the lunches are a good opportunity to educate guests about the Michigan Area’s Malta Dental and Medical Clinic, also housed in the Center for the Works of Mercy.
The Malta Dental and Medical Clinic and soup kitchen have a shared history: Both started at St. Leo Catholic Church in Detroit. The soup kitchen’s roots go back to the early 1900s; the Clinic was founded in 2004 by Lou Mahoney, KM, to serve guests of the soup kitchen.
The St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen served about 40,000 meals each year from the church’s basement, but in June 2021 was forced to close when summer floods damaged the kitchen, dining area, and other rooms. With support from members of the Michigan Area, St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen reopened in the Center for the Works of Mercy in January 2023, joining the Clinic, which relocated to the Center in 2021.