How Are the Local Meal Programs in Cleveland?

Commentary By Delores

      I was assigned to check out the free meal sites West Side Catholic Center, St. Malachi and St. Paul.  But first I like to tell about our friend Luke who is a Vista employee. Sometime in July, Luke was in Tremont and was shot in a drive by shooting.  Thank God Luke is still with us and thank God he is okay.  In fact, I saw him recently and, I bought some papers from him.  The police found the car and the gun; don’t know about the suspect though.  May you keep up recovering Luke, we all like you.  I hope I am speaking for all the vendors that we are glad to see you recovering very fine.  Now back writing about the meal sites.

      I went to West Side Catholic Center on July 25th.  I had a chicken patty, salad, and corn.  I was the 98th person served at 12:10 pm.   I was waited on at 12:15.  The food was okay on that day but they also have better food on some days.  I gave the West Side Catholic Center a B+.  They have name brand condiments some days such as ketchup, mustard, juice.

     I went to St. Malachi on August 1.  I had sausage, green beans, salad, mashed potatoes, (real mashed potatoes), no butter, no salt and pepper, and no condiments.  I saw two different lines with two different foods being served. Servers come around giving out drinks.  The food was good.  B+.

      I went to St. Paul on August 2.  From Public Square, I got on a 22 bus, got off at 36th and Lorain Avenue and walked to Bridge Ave.  Then I had to go to the back of the church to enter, and go down the stairs.   A lot of tables and chairs were set up, and you had to put down your own chair.  The staff served the meal in throwaway containers.  The meal consisted of watermelon, hero sandwich, and potato salad.  It was a very good meal I will come again.  I wish I lived on the West Side; the East Side doesn’t have as good of food.

      If a vendor wants to pay for a nice lunch, I suggest the Ontario Lounge/Café.  For under $7.00, they have a nice sandwich, potato salad, drink as well as sports on television and it is a quiet place to enjoy lunch.  I suggest this place.  The corned beef sandwich is very good. The sandwich may not be as big as the other shops, but the Ontario is not as salty as the other places.

     It is kind of a romantic atmosphere if you are a couple.  I recommend it to lower income people.

 Copyright Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and The Street Chronicle published Sept. 2011 Cleveland, Ohio