WACO, TX — The Gospel Cafe has been serving warm meals to the community for 25 years, surviving through a pandemic they've adapted to the challenges.
Knowing that pandemic or not, people are in need and the Gospel Cafe wanted to be there.
On the corner of 10th Street in downtown Waco, founder Sherry Castello bought a house in a neighborhood where she knew people would need the most help.
"It's not that we can just help the poor, it's that the poor can help us," Castello said.
The Gospel Cafe provides three lunches a week and she says she sees many of the same people come each day, every week.
One of those people is West Wilson. Wilson has been served a warm meal here for 20 years.
"Sometimes things get short and you're trying to make ends meet and a good hot meal lasts a long time," Wilson said.
Although he loves the food he says the volunteers are just wonderful.
"They are very outstanding workers and a lot of them are right here in the community and that just makes you feel like home," Wilson said.
Castello said making sure they are a safe space for those that need a little help now and then is important for the community.
Over the years she has seen many things change, physically, around the Gospel Cafe.
"The neighborhood as you see it today is not the neighborhood, we moved into there were small houses here up and down the street where there are now motels," Castello said.
Although the neighborhood has changed, their will so serve hasn't. During the pandemic they moved meals as carryout only. Usually they would allow community members to come and sit down inside the cafe and enjoy a warm meal and company.
They didn't want to give up and so the Gospel Cafe found what works best for them.
"There's a way, there's always a way," Castello said.
Wilson stops by for the food but sometimes he says this place is a lot more than just a warm meal.
"They give prayer, and that means more than food sometimes," Wilson said.
The Gospel Cafe serves lunch Wednesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Their address is 825 S 10th St.