“A lot of the homeless people who walk through these doors haven’t eaten properly in months.” — Chef Mark
A home-cooked meal. A cup of hot, sweet tea. A moment of humanity… Feeding hungry, homeless people is one of the most fundamental parts of the good work you power here at Depaul.
Chef Mark puts your generosity into action every day, and he wants you to know the very real difference your kindness makes in the lives of the homeless people he serves…
You wouldn’t believe the power of something as simple as a cup of tea and a biscuit,” says Mark, Depaul’s chef at Ozanam House homeless hostel in Wexford.
“A lot of the people I meet live most of their lives on the street. It’s just a cup of tea… but you can’t underestimate the comfort of it.”
This will be Mark’s 13th year feeding Ireland’s homeless and hungry. He says he loves every second of his job.
And he’s forever grateful for generosity like yours. Because you keep the lights on and the kettle warm here.
Thanks to you, there is a place for all the lost and lonely people. A place where a hot meal, a kind word, and help and hope can always be found.
“If you could see the appreciation people have of getting a hot meal…
They’re so grateful to have a plate of home-cooked dinner in front of them.”
For Chef Mark, his work is more than just a job. It’s about delivering your love and humanity in every meal he serves…
“Even if I’m finishing my shift and I’m out the door… If someone comes along and missed a meal – I don’t refuse them, I make sure they get something.”
“I’ve gotten to know a lot of people, and sometimes they will come to me feeling low. I say, ‘come on, let’s get a cup of tea and have a chat’ — I’m not here to judge, just to listen. Often they have no one in their life they can talk to.”
Mark remembers one older man who he hadn’t seen before.
“He came up to me after dinner and said ‘thank you for talking to me like I’m a real person.’ I couldn’t believe that. Just being able to sit down to have a meal and a chat… it meant the world to him.”
In many ways, our Depaul kitchens are at the heart of the work you power here, fulfilling the most basic of human needs.
Mark makes hearty, comforting meals like cabbage and bacon, shepherd’s pie, and always lots of fresh vegetables.
And when it comes to people sleeping rough and eating mainly fast food or meal deals, Chef Mark believes good food is vital for recovery…
“There was one young fella who came in. He was skin and bones. He probably hadn’t had a proper meal in years. A few months later, he left our services, and he looked like a different person. It made me really happy to be part of that transformation.”
For every moment of mercy and humanity you bring to people who are homeless and hungry… thank you.
Read more about Chef Mark and the Depaul team in Depaul Diaries Summer Edition here
To support the work of Chef Mark in Depaul’s kitchens, please donate today.