The Damiano Center Prepares for Winter & Holidays

Emily Ness
Updated: November 03, 2019 10:35 PM

Sitting atop one of Duluth’s many hills is a brick building that has transformed lives.


“There’s a lot of hungry people out there and a lot of them don’t have the resources, a lot of them don’t have anywhere to go and that’s why we’re here,” Flora Woodfork, Kitchen Manager said.

As the largest on-site meal provider in Northeastern Minnesota, the Damiano Center serves 13 meals per week. Depending on the day, they serve anywhere from 150-350 people, or more.

“My favorite part is just being part of something bigger. You know, doing something nice,” Dale Watt, volunteer said.

As the air grows cold and the holidays grow close, the need for volunteers to help feed those in need increases.

“Sometimes we don’t get enough volunteers for us to serve everything that we want to serve, but we still try to give them a nice dinner,” Woodfork said.

Dinners include a main course, a vegetable, fruit, bread and desert. All of this requires a great deal of preparation.

“It’s a group effort. Obviously I couldn’t just show up by myself and do this,” Watt said. “I’ve always liked cooking. That’s why I wanted to volunteer here instead of like a pet shelter or something like that. You know, that’s great too, but I like cooking so this works out.”

Typically, volunteers say that it takes a few hours to prepare a meal.

“We have volunteers during the week that’s church groups and groups like that. A couple of them have made 80 years old and they’re still coming. I mean they’re old and they still come in here and get the job done,” Woodfork said.

Getting the job done is essential for those who need to be fed.

“The first week I was here, what really surprised me that was contrary to my expectations was that it was a huge mix of people. You know, some folks are homeless, some aren’t. There’s some families coming through, kids coming through every week, some older folks who are just trying to get by, you know,” Watt said.

Now more than ever, the Damiano Center says that they could use volunteers as they prepare for cold weather and the holidays. A link for those who are inerested can be found here.

“The shelters really don’t cook meals, so they come here,” Woodstock said. “We want to help.”


Emily Ness

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


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