Super Bowl tailgate lunch for hungry and homeless

(Submitted photo) Members of the Ave Maria University Football team help with the preparations.

Super Bowl Weekend began early in Immokalee at Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Soup Kitchen, Casa Maria. It was a “tailgate” party unlike any other. The multi-cultural community of Immokalee, most of whom think “soccer” when someone says “football” were treated to an all-American, football stadium-type meal of hotdogs, chili dogs and French fries served by members of the Ave Maria University Football team.

This “sports theme” meal has become a tradition over the past three years with the University sponsoring the event at Guadalupe Social Services soup kitchen. Our guests consist of poor families with women and children, homeless people, and migrant farmworkers. They do not often get to participate in special meals nor do they get to celebrate a lot. Super Bowl Sunday is just another day for them, many of whom are working everyday in the fields or packing houses.

The football players of Ave Maria University set the tables, prepare and serve the food and help with dishwashing and cleanup. Everyone has a good time with lots of laughter and sharing that goes beyond the many languages spoken in the dining room. The team members are grateful for the opportunity to be of service and the people being served are impressed by the kindness, gentleness, and sincere caring demonstated by these burly football players.

At this SOUPER BOWL party, everyone is a winner!

Sister Judy Dohner is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at ibnews@newszap.com

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