"...Make me an instrument of your peace..." -St. Francis

St. Francis Soup Kitchen - News

Physical address through 2019: 134 East Church Street   Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Update, December 26, 2019:  When one door closes, another opens. A group of volunteers from St. Francis have plans to continue preparing and serving food downtown after the Providence Center closes. If you have an interest in joining St. Francis Soup Kitchen at New Life Inn, please contact Jerry Weedon. Jerry is organizing volunteers who will begin preparing Friday, January 3rd, and serving on  Saturday, January 4th. Jerry's email is gweedon (at) marksgray.com .

New Life Inn is located at 234 W. State Street. Food preparation starts at 9:00 a.m. on Friday mornings. At 11:00 a.m. Saturday, food service starts. Help is needed for preparation and service:  Food prep helpers are needed Fridays at 9:00 a.m. and servers should report on Saturdays between 10:00 and 10:30 a.m.  For more details on how to be a part of St. Francis Soup Kitchen at New Life Inn

 St. Francis Soup Kitchen at New Life Inn 

 Jerry Weedon - Volunteer Coordinator 

 geraldweedon (at) gmail.com using an @ symbol for (at)

Update, October 27, 2019:  Over the years we have posted our annual newsletters here, with a preface that the writing represents more reflections than news, more of an explanation of where we find ourselves, and how we came to choose this place over others. This year, facing year-end closure, some of our volunteers continue to study ways to support our less fortunate under the Soup Kitchen umbrella. That news, along with links to our annual missives, are shown at the bottom of the page. 

This year, we posted a few excerpts from "Last Meal on December 28th," available in full in pdf format. Please note, since this page was last updated, we have learned we will be discontinuing operations under the name of the St. Francis Soup Kitchen. 


“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the 
light of a single candle.” St. Francis

Last Meal on December 28th, (pdf) published October, 2019, containing news of our closure. This testamentary document contains reflections from Jim and Diane McVety of the Kitchen's history, mission, near closures, and stories from customers and volunteers. Here are a few excerpts:

Mission Statement: "a volunteer operated facility open on Saturdays to serve hundreds of the community's less fortunate, poor, homeless, and anyone in need of a nourishing meal. Everything is done to acknowledge the dignity of the poor, respect them, and serve them hospitably.

In addition to a Clothes Closet, the Kitchen also distributes food baskets filled with nonperishable items from its food pantry to need individuals and families. The Kitchen relies on donations, and on volunteers to go around town to pick up items and to help prep and serve each Saturday.

Saturday Morning Prayer: "We pray for our less fortunate brothers and sisters who come through the door today reaching out for help, that we may look through their eyes and see Christ and receive them with love and compassion."

The Stories: 
-a letter from the Director of Campus Ministry at Bishop Kenny High School ("Take your child and perhaps a couple of their friends to the St. Francis Soup Kitchen... and experience the church ALIVE serving Christ in the poor, outcast, often forgotten...")
- a handwritten customer letter ("You probably don't get much thanks. But your Boss in Heaven will reward you for your generous sacrifice... for so many of us, this is the only real meal we get and we really look forward to it...")
-accounts from volunteers on Saturdays over the years (the addicted ready for a chance to start over, abused mothers in need of diapers, the grieving who lost a husband or child overnight, the tenant out of rent money, the able worker with tattered pants and shoes.)
-the changing requirements to apply for social services or custodial work 
-the thanks from volunteers who are forever changed by the volunteer experience

Causes and Problems: Trace eviction or foreclosure to the range of problems someone might face. Or addiction. Or prison release.

Diane and Jim: the shared Ignatius experience

The Future: Conversations about how to continue offering sandwiches and drinks with the help of local parishes and volunteer support. 

Gratitude: The real risk of regret when a tradition of hope ends. 

-Jim and Diane McVety

Subpages (2): 2016 2017
Katie Bark,
Nov 15, 2018, 6:05 AM
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Nov 15, 2018, 7:08 AM
Katie Bark,
Oct 27, 2019, 6:30 AM
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May 28, 2018, 11:36 AM
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Nov 15, 2018, 6:02 AM