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Union Mission's Starfish Cafe

previously called the Bread & Butter Cafe

Gwinnett Street at E. Broad (4 blocks E. of Forsyth Park)

Breakfast and Lunch Mon- Fri

790-8512

The Starfish Cafe

 

NBC Celebrated the Starfish in April

 

The Starfish Cafe is an unusual place and is receiving national attention for the role it is playing in Savannah!  It serves lunch prepared daily by students being trained by Union Mission and Savannah Technical College to enter the workforce.  Many of the students have been homeless or otherwise been served by Union Mission's programs.   An entree is featured daily as part of the training program.  Folks come from all over town to support this program and eat well at the same time. For more information about Union Mission in Savannah see www.UnionMission.org.

In April, 2005  the TODAY show kicked off its annual series TODAY Lend A Hand segment.  In the series Al Roker traveled to five different cities in five days to help chosen non-profit agencies with items they need for their programs and to also raise awareness of the good works.  He started on April 11th in Las Vegas, NV and  came across the country to Savannah to wrap up the series at Union Mission, Inc.  Although Union Mission is the agency chosen, NBC highlighted the Starfish Café for its extraordinary program.  “We chose Union Mission for all the great things you guys are doing, but wanted to focus on the Starfish because we have never seen anything like it,” stated a NBC TODAY Show producer Russ McCarroll, “This is a great program that we see is literally saving lives.” 

While the name of the non-profit was kept secret, as much as possible, Al Roker actually did the series live from the Café on Friday after the previous’ weeks taping for the completed piece.  Union Mission was the recipient of gifts that Al Roker delivered in a large truck that morning.  The gifts came from a list of items that Union Mission provided the show so that they can acquire them from their sources.  “The exposure and support of the TODAY Show is supporting Union Mission’s effort to end and prevent homelessness in the greater Savannah region.  Next year, we’ll hopefully eclipse last year’s achievement of ending homelessness for 352 people.”

The Starfish Café is a joint venture between Union Mission and the Savannah Technical College.  The culinary arts training program serves lunch to the public on weekdays with breakfast and lunch on Saturdays.  Participants in the program are homeless or are looking for job skills to make a better life for themselves.  Since the program’s inception in 2000, over 200 students have graduated and obtained full-time employment.  The goal of the program is to assist each student in finding employment and making them independent and successful members of our community.