Nonprofit organization Mary’s Mercy Center has reopened its dining hall, Mary’s Table, to the community after a nearly two-year closure caused by the pandemic. Residents are invited to sit down and enjoy a hot lunch in a safe space between 11:30 and 1:30 daily with the exception of Fridays and the first Sunday of each month.
According to Executive Director Dan Flores, attendance has steadily been increasing to 100 visitors a day, with hopes of serving up to 300 people.
“Anyone who wants or needs lunch is welcome to come, they’re hot lunches, really good meals with dessert,” Flores noted. “We have a lot of families and seniors on a fixed income who come; this is a great place to get a free meal.”
There is no limit on how many servings guests can help themselves to.
Mary’s Mercy Center, established in the mid-1980s, has been a great resource to the city’s west side and over time fostered a relationship of trust with the community.
“The neighborhood accepts us, the homeless who do come here are very respectful and quiet,” Flores mentioned. “We’d rather you here than on the street… as long as you’re here no one’s going to hassle you or bother you.”
Meals are prepared in-house and served by a staff of half a dozen with the help of invaluable volunteers.
Mary’s Mercy Center is located at 641 N. Roberds Ave. in San Bernardino. The office can be reached at (909) 889-2558.