Caritas Village, the Binghamton-based community center and cafe, closed this week and will remain closed throughout the summer. Officials there plan to re-imagine the space as a kitchen for local food entrepreneurs and is shooting to re-open this fall.
The organization announced the closing in a Monday Facebook post
, noting that "in the wake of the global pandemic, our organization has had to face some difficult realities."
Here's the rest of the Caritas statement in full:
"We are deeply committed to the vital mission of love and service to our community of Binghamton as created by our founder Onie Johns. With that in mind, we have decided to re-imagine the use of our kitchen, converting it from a café to a community resource for local food entrepreneurs. Caritas will remain closed for the summer while we work to strengthen partnerships with other local organizations, envision how all of our programs will continue, and ensure a sustainable future for our beloved organization.
We would like to sincerely thank Kristin McMillin for her leadership in shepherding the café through several challenges so capably, and, with the help of Chef Spencer McMillin, in leveraging additional resources to offer the truly above-and-beyond Restaurant Workers Unity Project and Feeding the Front Lines efforts.
We are grateful to the leadership of Brad Watkins, who offered resources valuable to residents and laid the groundwork for programming to come, and to the entire staff, who worked tirelessly to produce wonderful food and fellowship for our community.
We are grateful beyond measure for the countless people who made Caritas' mission of love and service theirs by offering their monetary support or volunteer support. To all of our customers over the years, we love you and are so happy to have played a part in your fellowship and conversations over meals at Caritas. We are grateful that you decided to spend your time and money in support of a mission that brought many people together and helped us provide meals to many hungry people who had no money to eat.
We are grateful for the hard work and countless contributions of our neighbors in Binghamton, who worked to make Caritas what it has become and continue to inspire our collective work. We are excited about what the future hold for Caritas and are dedicated to returning with a renewed commitment to serving our community of Binghamton in the fall."