The Open Door Cafe

Meal Program 

Open Door Café serves grab-and-go sandwich bag lunches Sunday through Friday during regular lunch hours of 11:15 am. to 12:45pm.  Clients are welcome to sit in the dining room for a reasonable amount of time to consume their lunch. Hot lunch option on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday based on the availability of Cook volunteers. These bag lunches and hot meals are prepared here at the Cathedral.

About the Open Door Cafe

It is said that when God closes a door, God always opens a window. But at the Open Door Café, we don't believe that God is a door closer.

We believe in a God of goodness without limits. A God who loves without condition or end. A God who pours out love. A God who opens countless windows and doors, all the time.

Nevertheless, doors close. Eviction notices are posted. Pink slips are given. Divorce papers are signed. Diagnoses are handed over. Loved ones die. All of these are closed doors that lead to people experiencing poverty, homelessness and hunger.

The Open Door Café witnesses God's boundless love, opening doors each day:

  • in the hundreds of individual volunteers who nurture a warm environment for our hot lunch, bag lunch and hygiene kit distribution
  • by our donors who give generously to keep us cooking
  • through the dedication of our mission-focused Core Volunteers and staff
  • for the support of hunger fighters like Hunger Task Force, who provide FREE food and funding and Feeding America who provide affordable shopping options to keep our menus interesting and nutritious
  • in the courage of our guests to enter the Open Door Café after doors have been closed on them

We invite you to join us - to share a meal, to serve, to donate, to be God's love in our world today!

To volunteer at the Café, please email Idalia Nieves-Reyes:

If you are unable to email her, you may call 414/276-9814, ext. 110.

Support the Open Door Cafe

You can donate to the Open Door Cafe online by clicking on the "Donate to the Open Door Cafe" button on this page or you can mail a donation to the Cathedral at 831 N. Van Buren Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202. Checks should be made out to the Cathedral of St. John with ODC in the memo line. 

Please click here to read an article from the Catholic Herald about efforts at the Cathedral to help those in need.

We are asking for your help with donating the items necessary for the bag lunches at the Open Door Cafe. If you can, please donate some of the following items:
  • Face Masks for our Guests
  • Bottled Water (16.9 oz)
  • Single Serve Bags of Chips
  • Little Debbie or Hostess Snack Cakes or Granola Bars
  • Large/Giant Size Paper Lunch Bags
  • Large Jars of Grape Jelly or Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Sliced White Bread
If you are able to donate any of the following items, please call to arrange for a drop-off time by contacting Idalia Nieves-Reyes at 414/276-9814, x110.

Our Partners in Ministry

Open Door Café is generously funded by the following foundations:

AT&T Foundation
A.W. Asmuth Family Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Bader Philanthropies – Helen Daniels Bader Fund
Catholic Community Foundation
First Midwest Bank Foundation
Green Bay Packer Foundation
Hunger Task Force
Merkel Foundation