Texas: Samaritan House's Original Supper Club Has Changed Over the Years
September 30, 2010
In October 1993, the Samaritan House opened for HIV-positive homeless adults in Fort Worth. That same year, four men -- Dennis O'Reilly, Ray Bronner, Michael Clark, and Russ Simon -- founded the Original Supper Club (OSC), a monthly meal designed for the 25 or so of Samaritan's residents to get to know one another.
Since then, the concept has grown and become more popular. Today, 32 supper clubs provide meals daily at the facility. They save the Samaritan House a total of more than $100,000 a year, said Sue Mahoney, housing and volunteer coordinator. The money saved allows the non-profit to provide other services for residents.
Since OSC started, Samaritan House has grown to house more than 50 residents. And OSC's menu has evolved from a simple salad, pot roast and potatoes to healthy, gourmet meals. OSC members aim to prepare the same kind of dinner they would serve for guests in their homes, said Bronner.
Joe Schmelzla, who has lived at Samaritan House for five years, said OSC offers something unique to residents. "I think it's pretty special that they take the time out of their own busy schedules to come out here once a month to make sure 60 people have a meal to eat," he said. "Without them, there wouldn't be any dinner."
OSC's pork tenderloin, potato soufflé, and special desserts have become favorites of both residents and staff, said Mahoney. "The residents really love when the [OSC] comes due to the fact that they cook from scratch, and they make these fabulous meals," she said.
It takes roughly 30 hours to create the menu, shop for the food, and cook the meal. OSC members cover the costs of the dinners but get discounts on food from some area businesses.
Fort Worth Star Telegram
09.06.2010; Jan Jarvis
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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