What is Cafe of Life?
Founded in 1998, in its formative months the Café of Life offered coffee to its clients. From this humble beginning, the Café of Life has become a fixture in Bonita Springs, serving luncheon meals Monday thru Friday to individuals and families from all walks of life.
Our purpose today is to help in meeting the basic needs of the less fortunate people of Bonita Springs, Florida, providing nutritional and supplemental assistance while preserving the dignity of the client.
Although Christian based in our formation and continuing objective of caring, sharing and serving to those less fortunate, we are not affiliated with any church denomination or political organization. We are an agency of the United Way of Lee County.
We are governed by a Board of Directors represented by community leaders, clergy, retired professionals, and civic-minded individuals. Directors serve without compensation.
Currently the Café of Life has five part-time employees who report to the Board of Directors. Our Director oversees the daily operations of our business office. The Site Manager/Volunteer Coordinator works closely with our clients and schedules all of our volunteers. The facility manager maintains LNP site and playground. We also have an outreach worker who serves poor neighborhoods and migrant camps. Finally we have a transportation manager who provides transportation to appointments.
Our permanent serving location is at the Leitner Neighborhood Park and our office is located at 10540 Childers Street, Bonita Springs.
“Come you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
The Café of Life is a faith based institution, believing in the teaching of all great religions that one must love and help one’s neighbor in time of need.
The Café is not affiliated with any particular religion or denomination. Our mission is to provide basic human needs to the poor and hungry people of Bonita Springs, in a manner that preserves the dignity of the client in a respectful environment.
Who We Serve
Our clients are 90% working poor Hispanic families and 10% are homeless. They are almost all “in transition” in their lives. They are single mothers with preschoolers, unemployed day laborers, professionals who may have been apart of downsizing or persons simply experiencing extreme financial difficulties. We also serve the migrant communities.
What We Do
The Café of Life provides a hot nutritious meal Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The meals are cooked by volunteers at their homes and include a casserole, vegetable, salad, milk and juice and often hard boiled eggs, fruit, and cookies from the pastry table. Each meal begins with a prayer given in English and Spanish by our site manager.
We also provide supplemental groceries to prepare meals at home, gently used clothing, diapers, toiletries, blankets, other miscellaneous personal goods, and at times furniture and appliances. These same services are provided through outreach to persons in poor neighborhoods who cannot get to our site.
Where We Are Located
We serve at our permanent location at Leitner Neighborhood Park located at 26724 Nomad Drive, Bonita Springs.
Our administrative office is located at 10540 Childers Street, Bonita Springs.