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UMTV: Catering Work for Homeless



A catering company called Inside the Box is thinking outside the box. The program buys a meal for a homeless person for every box lunch sold. Homeless and dropout teens train for jobs in the food service industry, too. Good food for a good cause.

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(Locator: Tampa, Florida)

The Rev. Morris Hintzman, Metropolitan Ministries: "The whole concept of Inside the Box is not what happens inside the box, but what happens outside the box. I'm Morris Hintzman. I'm a United Methodist minister. And I'm the CEO of Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa, Florida. So we came up with this vision of doing a catering service."

Cliff Barsi, Chef, Inside the Box: "We're able to serve the community delicious food. And in return their purchase of that meal is gonna provide a meal for someone in need, for a homeless person."

Chanae Jacobs, Inside the Box: "8,328 is what we currently have tallied, paying it forward to help the people. So it's a really good feeling to be part of that."

Cliff Barsi, Chef, Inside the Box: "All our employees at Inside the Box Café are ex-residents that graduated from our Uplift U program. And now they've moved out and are self-sufficient."

Chanae Jacobs: "2009, 2010, I became homeless and I went to the Ministries to seek help. They gave us home, food, friends, classes, anything that we needed to become self-sufficient."

Cliff Barsi, Inside the Box: "We want to teach 'em a trade. So we have a culinary arts program. It's a four-month program. And then when they're finished, they graduate, we help 'em find a job."

Chely Samira-Figueroa, Inside the Box: "I was going on 8 to 9 months pregnant. Every other shelter turned me down 'cause I was homeless. And something told me to get off the bus. And I believe it was God. I know it was God. And I got off that bus and I'm very happy to be here."

Mary Ellen Kris, Board of Global Ministries Consultant: "This is a luncheon event that the Ministry With the Poor area helped us organize. It's called Break Bread with Tampa. It's open to the public as well as as many people as possible who can come over from the United Methodist General Conference."

Bishop Joel Martinez: "When John Wesley first called the conference together, it was called to organize the effort to reach even more of God's poor in England. If we forget the poor we've forgotten why we exist."

Mary Ellen Kris, Board of Global Ministries Consultant: "One of our local partners for this event is a wonderful organization called Metropolitan Ministries."

The Rev. Morris Hintzman, Metropolitan Ministries:"I want to introduce to you Cliff Barsi, who is our chef, and our creator of Inside the Box. And he'll come and share just a word about how we're not just feeding people, but how we're empowering people."

Cliff Barsi, Chef, Inside the Box: "So Inside the Box is just a first of several businesses that we're gonna be in. We're gonna do this 'cause we want to change the way that we serve the lost and hurting in Tampa Bay."

Chanae Jacobs: "They taught me how to be self-sufficient, not to be co-dependent of others."

Chely Samira-Figueroa: "I have my own place. I do have a job working at Inside the Box. And it's a full-time job, a promising job. And I'm just more stable than I was before."

Voice of Cliff Barsi, Chef, Inside the Box: "It's just a blessing everyday to see people just excited about working, excited about helping to feed other people that are less fortunate like they used to be."

Chely Samira-Figueroa: "The way I give back to them and thank them for everything they do is to be successful and to show them that I can do everything that they believe I can do."

The Rev. Morris Hintzman: "If all of us in the Christian community made a dent in one person's life this year, the church would be twice the size it is next year, wouldn't it?"


For more information contact Inside the Box at 813.209.1272 or Metro Ministries of Tampa


Posted: June 12, 2012