Saint Ben’s Community Meal re-opens indoor dining

Indoor service restored following brief period of take-away meals due to Omicron wave

MILWAUKEE – In-person dining returned today at Saint Ben's Community Meal. Indoor dining service was halted and takeaway-only service was instituted on January 4, 2022, based on guidance from the Milwaukee Health Department.

Part of Capuchin Community Services, Saint Ben's provides a free nightly meal, to which all are welcome, with no questions asked. Each meal is prepared and served by a sponsor group. As it happens, the Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin sponsors the first Tuesday dinner at Saint Ben's on odd-numbered months. This sponsor group re-opened the Meal Hall on September 7, 2021, after a gap of about 18 months, and was the last to serve on January 4, 2022, right before concerns about the Omicron variant resulted in the temporary suspension of indoor dining. Today, the Sikh Religious Society is the first sponsor group to serve at Saint Ben's following the pause of indoor service. During the suspension of indoor services, Saint Ben's staff prepared nightly take-away meals for their guests.

"We are happy to be able to open our doors once again and be a place of peace, nourishment and community," said Br. Robert Wotypka, OFM Cap., ministry director of Capuchin Community Services. "In addition to our nightly meal, our Front Door Ministry serves every weekday afternoon, offering showers, a free laundromat, and access to social and emergency services.

Hayat Pharmacy hosted a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Saint Ben's during the re-opening night.


Capuchin Community Services, with two locations: Saint Ben's Community Meal and the House of Peace, serves people struggling with homelessness, poverty and food insecurity.


House of Peace assists families and individuals in meeting spiritual, material and emotional needs. House of Peace helps families remain together while promoting self-sufficiency, providing food, clothing and pastoral care. In addition, the House of Peace is home to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Community Wellness Center – HOP and the Marquette University Volunteer Legal Clinic.


Saint Ben's Community Meal is Milwaukee's longest running community meal, founded in 1970. Dozens of organizations (including faith communities, neighborhood groups and companies) provide hot, homemade dishes six days a week to everyone who comes, no questions asked. Other Saint Ben's programs are shower, laundry and barber services, and a winter Warming Center. The Ascension St. Ben's Free Clinic provides individualized preventive health care, and CCS partners with Saint Benedict the Moor parish to provide jail ministry.

Capuchin Community Services is part of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, headquartered in Detroit, and part of the worldwide Roman Catholic order of Friars Minor, Capuchin, following the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi.

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SOURCE: Capuchin Community Services