Serving Up A Little Dignity in Paris!


Whenever I get caught up in my own life- you know anxieties like ‘what Am I going to be when I grow up?’ Or better yet…’when will I grow up?’I always find it nice to take a step back and help others. It’s always an easy way to get over myself. Today I headed to American Cathedral in Paris to serve lunch to the homeless. I am not sure if you have ever volunteered at a soup kitchen…(I hadn’t until I arrived in Paris) but I always envisioned long lines and big pots of soup.

As with everything…the French have put their own spin on serving the homeless with the Mission Lunch Program. I have to say that this soup kitchen reminds me more of a restaurant! Each week there is a guest chef who prepares a four course menu. The homeless (guests) arrive for lunch and are seated at tables with tablecloths, proper plates and silverware. Volunteers serve the guests at the table. They start out with a main plate, which today was baked chicken, sautéed vegetables and pasta. Once they are finished they are brought a fresh tossed salad. The third course is a cheese plate with fresh baguettes. It is close to a crime to eat cheese in this country without bread!

And finally for desert there is gateaux (cake)!

Watching the people at the tables eating, conversing and passing bread reminded me of the saying…’you know where you’ve been but you never know where you are going.’

It feels great to be part of a program where we are able, for just a moment, to give someone an afternoon of comfort and respect…and I am able to get over myself in the process!

-French Kissed

Want to feel like you’re traveling without moving? Read the rest of French Kissed’s experiences here.

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