Serving the Underserved
“It’s not just the food that feeds us but the kindness behind it ” – diner at Grace Diner
a tax exempt, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization
The mission of Grace Diner is to serve the underserved in our community by providing diners with a free, three-course meal that is served with respect, in a warm, restaurant-style setting. Our goal is to continue to provide opportunities for growth of Grace Diner by offering additional services and serving more of the underserved at other locations in Culver City. In 2016, a free medical clinic was offered by Grace Diner with medical, dental, optical and pharmacy services provided by Medical Mission Adventures. Over 35 volunteers served more than 55 people in our community with needed medical services.
Grace Diner currently serves meals in the Parish Hall of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church at 4427 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230. In addition to a healthy meal every week, diners are welcomed to an opportunity to relax while being served by volunteers. Linen tablecloths, candles, centerpieces, and occasional music create a respectful and pleasant atmosphere for dining and visiting with other diners and volunteers. Three-course dinners are purchased from St. Vincent Meals on Wheels and supplemented with donated or low-cost desserts from a local market. Trust and lasting friendships are formed at Grace Diner and information is distributed about other community services and opportunities to meet the needs of diners.
Diners include the homeless, people living in their cars, senior citizens, veterans on limited budgets, the developmentally disabled, and some families with children. Grace Diner is staffed by students, scouts, members of the Culver City Senior Center, and members and friends of local churches and Grace Lutheran Church. Grace Diner is an all-volunteer organization with the exception of a bookkeeper who tracks expenses and assures compliance with financial and other corporate regulations.
Grace Diner began in 2009 as a part of the ministry of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Culver City and is now in its 8th year of providing free meals every Monday evening (including holidays). By 2013 the number of people served each week had reached 100, tripling the number of diners served in the beginning of Grace Diner in 2009. Application was made and approved to become a State of California nonprofit corporation and determination of approval was made by the IRS to become a nonprofit, 501(c) (3), tax exempt organization. The Grace Diner Board of Directors consists of nine volunteers and one diner.