Trinity Cafe is a nonprofit restaurant in Tampa that serves meals to the hungry and food insecure — people who are not sure where their next meal is coming from.
“I can tell you what it’s not,” Don Gould, a volunteer manager, said. “It’s not a soup kitchen.”
Trinity is open every day of the year. The cafe is able to run smoothly with the help of 32 volunteers per day, as well as grants and donations from the community. The staff prides themselves on being able to set Trinity apart from other restaurants of its kind by the way they treat their guests.
“Their motto is to serve with dignity, kindness and respect,” Ellen Wolfe, a three year volunteer, said. “Why this place is different is because we want to pat them on the back, we want to hear their story, we want to love them.”
Guests at Trinity Cafe receive a three-course meal and a volunteer host at their table. The host’s job is to sit with the guests and have a conversation with them. Last year, 10,690 volunteers helped serve 99,222 meals. Trinity served their one millionth meal last year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to a retired policeman and military veteran named John.
“For the people that we serve, it’s priceless,”said Gould. “There’s a huge hunger need across the country, especially in Hillsborough County.”
Trinity Cafe has been serving meals for 15 years. A second location, Trinity 2, will open on Busch Boulevard this year.