On Sunday, November 14th, four members of Temple’s AMA attended a session of Grace Cafe at Arch Street United Methodist Church. Grace Café is a meal service for those in the Philadelphia community experiencing homelessness and struggling with food insecurity. Beyond the meal service, the organization also offers a weekly wellness clinic, monthly legal clinic, and HIV/Hep.C testing.
The first task presented to the TU-AMA volunteers was bagging the non-perishables, such as water bottles and bags of cookies, as the beginning of the meal prep bags. There were also smaller bags for coffee prepared. They included sugar packets, creamer, and wooden stirrers.
Among all that Grace Cafe does, it also holds clothing drives and distributions to those in the community who may need it. In between helping with the meal service, TU-AMA members organized and labeled the clothing donations.
Closer to the time of the meal distribution, members began boxing cooked vegetables and packing the sandwiches into the previously started meal bags. Once distribution began, members took assigned positions, including monitoring the handwashing station, and passing out the prepared meal bags and hot coffee. Grace Cafe distributed an estimated 70 meals in the hour operating the meal service.
TU-AMA members were pleased with how organized Grace Cafe was and the variety of services they offered. It was a memorable experience having individual interactions with the community you were helping. Between the prepping and serving of meals, clean up, and other side tasks, volunteers can expect around three to four hours of service. TU-AMA members had a great experience and are looking forward to volunteering here again!
If you would like to volunteer or donate anything, here is all the information for Grace Cafe:
Grace Cafe (located in Arch Street United Methodist Church)
55 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
(215) 568- 6250