Casa Maria Soup kitchen serves up cultural feasts for the community

When people hear the words “soup kitchen,” they might think “homeless men and hot soup” and in many communities this is true. However, the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen, a program of Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities in Immokalee, is so much more. The staff and volunteers welcome anyone in the community who may be hungry or in need of a hot meal . Meals are provided five days a week. The guests who are served include women, children, families, field workers, the homeless… All are welcome!

Every Christmas season, the soup kitchen continues a tradition of serving cultural meals to celebrate the diversity of the people in the Immokalee community. On December 7, a Guatamalan meal was prepared by Yanira Lopez, the Center’s Guatamalan soup kitchen manager. On December 11, the staff of Mexican heritage prepared enchiladas and rice for our guests. On December 21, our Haitian Caseworker, Frantz Sylvestre, and his crew will serve a traditional Haitian meal.

Guadalupe Social Services, a program of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Venice is proud to celebrate the diversity of this farmworking and migrant community. The Soup Kitchen serves meals (and sometimes soup!) five days a week and no one is turned away. There is also a food pantry that offers bags of food to be taken home, and there are counselors to assist with other concerns and needs of the clients. There is also an active immigration assistance office. A clothing room is open three days a week and a shower program is available for homeless people.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus who came to bring peace and justice. Until these become a reality in today’s world, there will always be a need for the services of Guadalupe Social Services of Catholic Charities.

Sister Judy Dohner is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at

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