Port St. Lucie - The drive-thru soup kitchen at St. Lucie Parish in Port St. Lucie serves both food and support for those in need during these challenging times. Many homeless or individuals living in their vehicle find compassionate assistance Thursdays at noon from a cadre of volunteers who provide food and other items for people of all ages and even pets.
For more than 10 years, Lourdes Alfonso has been managing the kitchen and supervising a core of 12 volunteers. “We’re just like Jesus and the 12 apostles,” she said. Everyone pitches in according to their skill sets. She does the lion’s share of managing resources efficiently: purchasing and scouting for deals and discounts, menu prep, packaging meals and performing any manner of kitchen duties. Shopping is done Wednesdays, and she knows what to buy down to the penny. Sanitation of the facility is paramount, especially in current pandemic times. She said she strives to keep the kitchen immaculate.
And it all began by simply answering a bulletin ad for a cook. The gratitude of church staff for this program and how well-organized it is run is attributed to Alfonso’s dedication and faith. Secular Franciscans joined Alfonso at the soup kitchen, and they give their time by assessing the community’s needs at the drive-thru.
“My priority is to provide the community a cooked meal,” she said. “We began with between 60 to 100 meals, then, it jumped to 150. Because of the pandemic, we are preparing between 250 and 400 meals a week. Nobody is going to walk out of here hungry.”
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