Capuchins give back on Thanksgiving – and every day

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

As turkeys sizzled in the deep fryers and volunteers lined up to serve trays of hot meals, Capuchin Soup Kitchen made sure hundreds of Detroiters had a filling Thanksgiving.

The soup kitchen, which serves meals six a days week, prepared a special holiday feast for about 500 people from the community.

Guests were able to enjoy everything from turkey and garlic mashed potatoes to green beans and sweet potato pie.

Jay Brown, who manages the kitchen at the Conner Street location, said Capuchin takes pride in being able to make Thanksgiving dinner for people who might not be able to afford it.

“A lot of people don’t have family,” Brown said.

Capuchin Soup Kitchen is recovering after being burglarized earlier this month. Thieves broke in and stole computers and a printer.

Brown said the neighborhood is crime-ridden. Still, volunteers were disappointed because the soup kitchen does so much good for the community, he said.

“We are just trying to help people,” Brown said.

David Lute of Detroit said he enjoyed the Thanksgiving meal.

“It’s a good thing they are doing ... for people that don’t have a place to go,” Lute said. “This year I am noticing more volunteers and people coming down here.”

David Brayman of St. Clair Shores said he has been volunteering at Capuchin for the past four years.

The soup kitchen always serves a full room, but there are slightly more guests on holidays, he said.

Some people were bused across town from Capuchin’s Meldrum Street location, which was closed Thursday.

Brayman said the soup kitchen gives some people an outlet so they don’t have to be alone and idle on the holiday.

“It’s a place to get out and socialize,” Brayman said. “Keeps them out of trouble.”

Brother Jerry Smith, executive director, said guests look forward to the holiday meals every year.

“I think it’s a wonderful, festive place for people to gather and be with other people and celebrate life,” Smith said. “Celebrate all that we have to be thankful for.”

Twitter: @NicquelTerry