Home Our Diocese Emmanuel Dining Room resumes dine-in meals after two years of takeout

Emmanuel Dining Room resumes dine-in meals after two years of takeout

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At Emmanuel Dining Room West, which the ministry created from a former city fire hall, program director ReeNee LaFate explains to Msgr. Steven P. Hurley, center, and Bishop William Koenig, to his left, how the ministry’s unique ecumenical network of churches, synagogues, temples, congregations and other groups take turns providing nutritious meals served to the homeless, poor and newly unemployed. Ministry Founder and Executive Director Brother Ronald Giannone, at right, hosted the bishop and vicar general for a tour of ministry programs, all centered around his core belief that “the poor should never be treated poorly.” To learn more about the Ministry of Caring, visit ministryofcaring.org. Photo courtesy Ministry of Caring.

WILMINGTON — After two years of serving takeout meals for the hungry, Emmanuel Dining Room reopened the week of April 4 for dine-in meals. Now, however, the Ministry of Caring, which operates the three Emmanuel Dining Room locations, has a severe need for volunteers.

The takeout program began in March 2020 when the state began a state of emergency at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Brother Ronald Giannone, OFM Cap., the Capuchin Franciscan priest who is the founder and executive director of the Ministry of Caring, promised not to give up on those in need. The dining room served 151,437 breakfast and midday meals that year.

To continue, the Ministry of Caring said, individuals and groups of volunteers are needed. They must be at least 18 years old, vaccinated and boosted. Help is needed for meal preparation, serving and cleanup.

The Emmanuel Dining Room West, 121 Jackson St., Wilmington, serves breakfast daily from 6:45-9:30 a.m. and midday meals from 9:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m. The other locations, the Emmanuel Dining Room East, 226 N. Walnut St., Wilmington, and Emmanuel Dining Room South, 500 Rogers Road, near New Castle, serve midday meals from 9:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

To volunteer or for more information, contact program director ReeNee LaFate at (302) 652-3228. More about the Ministry of Caring is available at www.ministryofcaring.org.