Take a moment to ponder the magnitude of that number – one million, four-hundred eight thousand, three-hundred and ninety-eight children, women and men have been able to rely on Trinity Cafe for a meal.

There are almost 1,600 homeless living without shelter, depending on this meal. More than 204,000 Hillsborough County residents struggle with food insecurity or access to food; one in four are children.

Trinity Cafe provides healthy meals with good protein, fresh vegetables and fruit bridging the gap so families can pay for necessities such as rent, utilities and transportation. Expenses also include four essential products for survival: soap, toilet paper, personal hygiene products and oral healthcare products.

Chef Benito D’Azzo plans menus, purchases and incorporates donated food in every nourishing meal that leaves our kitchen. There is no waste; leftover find their way into soup, mixed vegetables or some other delightful dish. Our goal is to prepare nutritionally sound meals with plenty of protein, grains, fruits and vegetables thus aiding guests in staying as healthy as possible.

Equally important is our service model. We restore dignity to lives by welcoming guests to tables set with cloths and serving a three-course meal on china in an environment of kindness and respect. We purposefully create an environment nurturing the spiritual, psychological and emotional values that come with gathering together around a table for food and conversation. We create an intentional community in our dining room by building relationships with guests.

Whatever circumstances our guests face, we believe everyone deserves dignity, respect, a chance and a hot, healthy meal – 1.4 million and counting

A celebratory reflection by Program Director, Cindy Davis