SOUP KITCHEN

SOUP KITCHEN

Saint Francis Table

History

St. Francis Table began operation on Holy Saturday, April 10, 1982 during the period when Franciscans Friars staffed the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Atlanta. The name, St. Francis Table originated with the Franciscans who live their lives in imitation of St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis Table was started in response to the fact that there was a need for food for the hungry on Saturday. While various churches offered food during the week, there was no food program running on Saturday.

Today

Currently, St. Francis Table feeds 300 to over 500 people every Saturday. The only requirement for the people to be fed, is that they are hungry.  Several organizations including parishes, religious denominations, colleges, high schools and companies participate in preparing the food. 

 
 

SOUP KITCHEN

SOUP KITCHEN

Saint Francis Table

Volunteer FAQ

*Please read first - sign up below*

COVID Rules take precedence over any other information in the FAQs below for Saint Francis Table until further notice.

  • Do not arrive until 8 or 8:30. Our core group of volunteers will handle the prep work that we do indoors, so you will not have that exposure.

  • Indoor dining has been suspended and we continue to operate outside in our parking lot, which is serving-line style rather than sit-down dining.

  • You must be vaccinated to participate.  This is for your safety as well as that of our vulnerable guests.

  • You must be masked when indoors - this is a City of Atlanta mandate.  

  • Although the CDC and City of Atlanta do not require outdoor mask wearing, we strongly encourage you to continue wearing your masks. 

COVID PRECAUTIONS

OVERVIEW

St. Francis Table begins operation at 7:00 AM each Saturday morning.  At this time volunteers prepare sandwiches, if they have not been donated. Sometimes other churches or organizations donate the sandwiches.  Soup is prepared from ingredients that are either donated or are, primarily, purchased from the Atlanta Community Food Bank (AFCB).  No fish or shellfish is used.  Coffee is put on to brew and cold drinks are prepared.  The necessary cups, bowls, spoons and napkins are assembled and set out by the volunteers.

The guests are invited in at 10:00 AM. They enter through the door located on the Martin Luther King Boulevard side of the Shrine.  They each receive a meat and cheese sandwich, bowl, cup, spoon and napkin.  Once the guests are seated, the volunteers serve the soup from large pitchers.  Each person is fed until they have their fill and then they leave through the door on the parking lot side of the church.  As each guest leaves they are given desserts.  After each group of guests leaves, the next group is let in. The kitchen stays open and serves soup and sandwiches until 12:00 noon when clean up begins.

WHO CAN VOLUNTEER

  • Do not volunteer children under the age of twelve (12). 

 

  • All children between the ages of 13 to 18 are to be supervised by their own parent or guardian at all times. 

 

  • St. Francis Table is not a participating agency for court ordered community service.   Please contact United Way at 211 for assistance in finding an agency that can fulfill any court mandated service.  

  • Please register online to volunteer.  You will be asked to provide your (or your group's) name, the name of a contact person with their cell phone number and email address.  We do not require the names of any other individuals in your group, just the number of people coming.  This information is requested in the event of any unforeseen cancellations or other events that might impact your serving on your scheduled day.  If you find that you must cancel your participation please notify the church as soon as possible and cancel your group’s registration by emailing contactus@catholicshrineatlanta.org.  

  • Groups are limited to a maximum number of attendees of 20.  You will not be able to sign up for more than 20 persons.

  • If there are not enough volunteer slots left on a Saturday for every member of your group, please select another date.  Some volunteers wait months for their turn to give their time to the Saint Francis Table.  It is very disappointing to volunteer and then not be needed due to an overabundance of workers.

  • Please note that we request no organization publicity or photos while serving.   We appreciate your understanding of the privacy of our guests.  

  • Do not bring any donations during your visit except sandwiches if your group would like to provide our guests with additional food.  Please DO NOT bring clothing, shoes, blankets, sleeping bags or any other items to donate.  We do not have cleaning capabilities for such items.  Please contact St. Vincent de Paul, United Way or the Salvation Army to make these donations. ​

  • Require documentation for service hours? Note: we are *not* qualified for court ordered community service.

    • IMPORTANT: Bring your school or organization form with you on the day of service.

    • Identify yourself to the SFT team leader at the start of the day.

    • You will be credited for 5 hours IF you stay the entire time.

    • Your form will be signed by the team leader after the end of service on the day of service only.

    • Your form may be signed by the St. Francis Table team leader or his designed appointee only. 

    • We do not maintain a record of service hours and will not be able to verify any hours once you have left.  Documentation of service hours is only signed on the same day as the service.  

    • We do not verify service hours online with 3rd party service recorders.

  • Are you a Student and old enough to serve?  Schedule your service well in advance.   Saturdays during the school year fill VERY quickly.  Saturdays during the Summer are frequently available!  Help yourself AND Saint Francis table by getting your school service hours done before school even starts!  

DETAILS FOR VOLUNTEERS

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  • Please dress casually.  You will be working in a kitchen and may have food or liquids splash on your clothes.  You might wish to bring an apron to protect your clothing. 

 

  • Wear comfortable closed toe shoes.   

  • Volunteers should arrive between 7:00 and 7:30 AM Eastern.

 

  • The Church's address is 48 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SW (or MLK Jr Dr SW).  Please enter "SW" if you choose to use GPS for directions. 

 

  • The closest parking is the Underground Atlanta Parking deck at the corner of MLK and Central Avenue.  Parking is approximately $11.00 to $15.00 per car.  We are unable to validate parking for Saturdays.   

 

  • Volunteers report to the Parish Hall door on the south side of the building.