DETROIT — Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan and All Saints Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry celebrated the official grand reopening of its new location at 6945 Wagner Ave. on the lower level of the Police Athletic League Recreation Center in Detroit.
The May 20 invitation-only celebration welcomed nearly 100 guests, including esteemed community leaders, local dignitaries, and longtime supporters of the soup kitchen and food pantry. Msgr. Charles Kosanke, chairman of the board of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, formally blessed the building.
“We are thrilled that this day is here,” said Paul Propson, CEO of Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan. “This move and grand reopening celebration represent a significant milestone for our mission. We are grateful to our staff, advisory board, and all those who worked tirelessly to secure a new space that aligns with our mission and vision of serving those in southwest Detroit. With this new facility, we can better serve the community, offering a welcoming environment and essential resources to those facing hardship.”
The new location looks to serve those in ZIP codes 48209 and 48210.
“We want to help all those in need of food assistance serving as a beacon and sense of hope for residents in southwest Detroit,” said Dave Allen, program manager at All Saints Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry. “We may have a new location, but our passion and mission have stayed the same.”
The celebratory grand reopening came after many ups and downs to the mission, starting with the closure of All Saints Parish at the end of 2017 and its subsequent merger with St. Gabriel Parish.
In 2020, mainly because of the pandemic and the church sale, but also because of the ongoing construction of the Gordie Howe Bridge, which was physically dividing the community, Catholic Charities was forced to close the original kitchen.
“It was the time to consider a permanent move,” Allen said.
The staff, leadership, and advisory board members worked to secure a permanent location within a neighboring parish in or around the southwest Detroit, River Rouge and nearby Downriver communities.
On June 13, 2022, a reopening of the food pantry began at the new location, and one year later, on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, the soup kitchen reopened to serve hot meals between noon and 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
During the grand reopening, attendees toured the facility, learned about the organization's programs, and witnessed the ministry's positive impact on the community.
Many attendees provided donations (both monetary and in-kind) to help offset the cost of food and the increased demand for support. The afternoon concluded with a prayer of gratitude led by Msgr. Kosanke and a communal blessing to the attending staff, volunteers, and advisory board members who made the relocation possible.
The food pantry hours are Monday and Thursday from 1-3 p.m., and the soup kitchen service hours are from noon to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday. To learn more about All Saints Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, to volunteer, donate or serve, call 855-882-2736 ext. 3321 or visit ccsem.org/allsaints.
This article was provided by Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan.