Café 131

Gainesville resident and homeless advocate Pat Fitzpatrick was a long-time opponent of Gainesville's policy of limiting soup kitchens to serving only 130 meals per day. He became famous around town for telling commissioners exactly how he felt about the ordinance. 

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The dining hall at GRACE Marketplace pays tribute to Pat and how he helped erase the 130-meal limit from Gainesville's books. The aptly named Café 131, steered by Culinary Institute of America-trained Chef Marty, now serves about 400 meals per day, never turning anyone away hungry. The facility boasts a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen designed by local chef Bert Gill.

Hours

As many as 200 guests benefit from each meal served at GRACE. Three meals per day are offered Monday through Friday and breakfast and dinner are available on the weekends. Please see below for a list of meal service hours:  

Monday-Friday

Saturday & Sunday

Breakfast: 7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Breakfast: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Dinner: 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Culinary Training Program

Café 131also houses GRACE's culinary training program, which serves up real-world job training to up to 15 students per 10-week semester. The career readiness program teaches both kitchen and life skills and prepares students to enter the workforce through a range of services, such as interview coaching, résumé writing, and professional interaction education.

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This hands-on training readies students for real-world positions in restaurants and supermarkets. At the end of the 10-week program, Chef Marty presents graduates with a certificate, which can be used to enhance résumés.

Volunteer Opportunities

A number of volunteer opportunities are available at Café 131. Groups wanting to lend a hand by purchasing and preparing a meal can do so by signing up for an available date by emailing volunteer@gracemarketplace.org

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Lauren Poe
Mayor, Gainesville, FL
"They're doing remarkable work and changing the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people."
Dr. Bernie Machen
President Emeritus, UF
"GRACE's early success represents a truly remarkable launch of a much-needed community resource."

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