Ministry served 6.8 million meals in its 40 years

The Ministry of Caring has provided more than 6.8 million meals at its free dining rooms in the 40 years since it opened on April 27, 1977.

Brother Ronald Giannone, a Capuchin Friar from the Bronx, New York, started feeding poor people in a church basement on North Jackson Street in 1977. His mission began expanding that same year when he opened a single eight-bed homeless shelter in a former firehouse.

Since its founding, the Ministry of Caring has also:
• Admitted more than 20,700 homeless men, women and children to its four emergency shelters.
• Provided approximately 735,000 nights of shelter in its transitional and permanent residences.
• Cared for more than 3,300 homeless and low-income children in its three childcare centers while parents work.
• Provided services for 131,000 city residents through its Samaritan Outreach.
• Grown from one shelter to 40 service sites

At the outset, Giannone gathered a cadre of volunteers from churches, synagogues and community organizations to form a non-denominational ministry to address the myriad needs of poor individuals living in Wilmington.

Today, the ministry operates a dental clinic for the uninsured poor, a mobile medical van, legal advocacy, job training and job placement, three child care centers for the children of homeless and low-income families, a community center, a senior center, a distribution center that provides free furniture and clothing, three free dining rooms, emergency shelters, transitional housing, senior citizen housing and permanent housing for individuals with special needs.

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