This holiday season, warm meals await area homeless men, women and children at Pope Francis Center in Detroit. Thanks to a generous donation from UAW-Ford, the non-profit is now launching its Nutritious Food Program. It serves hot meals to 80-100 people daily and and is expected to now serve up to 20,000 healthy meals annually, including a meal for Thanksgiving.
“We’ve found that homeless men and women have extremely limited access to healthy food, which causes and exacerbates serious health problems; consequently, we started our nutritious food program,” said Jesuit Fr. Tim McCabe, executive director of the Pope Francis Center.
The new nutrition program at the Pope Francis Center will feature a variety of vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fresh fruit. In an effort to support local businesses, ingredients will be purchased from local food vendors as often as possible.
“We cannot disregard the plight of others in our communities; instead, we must each find ways to help those who are most disadvantaged among us,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW-Ford’s vice president. “UAW-Ford is proud to partner with Pope Francis Center to invest in the improvement of people’s lives while helping to restore dignity to the homeless men, women and children that it serves.”
“Giving back and supporting the community is a part of who we are and what we do,” said Bill Dirksen, vice president, Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Company. “By partnering with organizations like the Pope Francis Center, we are able to expand our reach and help enrich the lives of the men, women and children in our community.”
Additionally, the Pope Francis Center recently unveiled its newly renovated warming center, also sponsored by UAW-Ford. The renovations include: four new washers and dryers, three showers, two shaving stations, new towels, wash clothes, toiletries and an updated kitchen.
“Up until UAW-Ford’s funding came, we had one hallway in which we put out folding chairs every night, one small bathroom with a small shower, one washer and dryer; and served coffee and donuts basically,” Fr. McCabe added.
This year, the homeless community will have a warm nutritious meal while staying in an updated facility.
Established in 1941, UAW-Ford has a rich history of fighting for its members and the communities in which they live, work and play. Whether it is workers’ rights, youth development, community giving, offering skilled trades and/or educational training, UAW-Ford is committed to providing opportunities that secure both economic and social stability for the American workers and their families. Improving the quality of life is among UAW-Ford’s chief principles and serves as a benchmark for how labor rights are addressed in the 21st Century. Its members help to build the strong cars that drive America, which not only reinforces a solid economy and workforce, but also helps to build strong communities nationwide.