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Cafe on Vine finds ways to feed homeless staying in QC hotels

The Davenport cafe is feeding 100 more people than usual each day, which is why they are in need of donations.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Over 100 homeless people in the Quad Cities are now being housed in nearby hotels and fed by Cafe on Vine.

Humility of Mary, a homeless shelter in Davenport, is shut down due to coronavirus concerns.They're currently housing half their participants at the Days Inn in Davenport and the other half at the Econo Lodge in Bettendorf.

Cafe on Vine shut down their dining room on March 16th and have been serving "to-go" meals to 100 people in need from their side window.

"Foolishly, I thought at the beginning of this process this was going to be easier," says Wuanita Sullivan, Cafe on Vine's Executive Director.

Volunteers at the take-out window are taking their own precautions, like delivering "to-go" lunches and breakfast through the window using a tray.

"When I hand meals out, my head is above the glass there and so it seems to work out good," explains Steve Cooley, a cafe volunteer.

But the cafe is also shipping 220 meals a day to the homeless staying at the two local hotels through Humility of Mary - 110 for breakfast and 110 for lunch.

Sullivan says the cafe is serving 100 extra meals a day, which is a challenging number when they don't have the usual number of volunteers.

"We've probably lost at least half of our volunteers," Sullivan clarifies.

But some volunteers have also picked up extra days.

"I know my family isn't thrilled that I'm down here given my age and stuff like that," says Susan Meenan, a cafe volunteer. "But you know, people need to be fed and I knew they were so short on help."

The director says they can keep up with the demand, but they'll need more supplies toward the end of the month when families run out of food stamps.

"It could double," Sullivan says. "So if this pandemic stays on ... it just starts adding up."

Sullivan says the "to-go" process is costly in terms of paper products.  But the cafe is in need of food donations that are ideal for "to-go" meals like: breakfast or protein bars, fruit, juice boxes, cookies, flour tortilla shells, and applesauce.

Deliveries may be made Monday - Friday from 5:30AM to 1PM; Saturdays from 11AM to 1PM and Sundays from 4PM to 6PM.

Monetary donations may be sent to: Cafe on Vine, PO Box 3375, Davenport, IA 52808.