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Mary's Kitchen is the heart of Orange County's homeless where our services are the lifeline for many individuals and families in need. We provide two hot meals a day, breakfast and lunch, showers, clothing, personal hygiene products, laundry and mail services. 

Mary’s Kitchen is a volunteer organization whose aim is to provide compassionate care for the less fortunate of Orange County, California. All services are conducted in a manner, which preserves dignity. This is why those who we assist are considered our guests. We are non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. 100% of monetary donations received go directly to maintain the services provided for our guests.

In 1984, an 82-year-old Mary McAnena, founder of Mary’s Kitchen helped a homeless woman in Hart Park, Orange, California. She found her calling and dedicated herself in any way possible to help those less fortunate. Mary’s dream soon became a reality and Mary’s Kitchen was born. Mary’s home became the headquarters of a communal effort to give. Her small four-burner stove had never seen such traffic as volunteer’s helped with cooking. They transported food to Hart Park and served men, women, and children who were homeless in dire need. Then, ten years later the kitchen moved to its temporary home on Struck Ave in Orange, California.

Mary’s Kitchen is powered by hard working
volunteers who deeply care. Financial support is provided by way of donations from individual, students, churches, local corporations/small businesses, and grocery stores. On a daily basis the kitchen sees an average of 200 hungry people. Mary knew that beyond food they hungered for respect, dignity, and connection. With grace, humor and warmth she consistently gave them all of that and more as the same is given today.

share her light and be an agent of change

A Decade of Growth


Mary's Kitchen Looking Ahead

In response, 2020 into 2021 bought challenges as COVID-19 pandemic created food shortages and slowed our economy. Mary's Kitchen ramped up services by implementing protocols to safeguard our volunteers and those we serve., The requirement of temperature checks, face masks, washing of hands and social distancing kept Mary's facility virus free. We served meals using social distancing measures. Now with Omicron spreading faster than previous viruses and a growing possibility others will mutate causing further spreads we're enforcing other safety procedures. 


As Mary's Kitchen looks toward 39 years, our goal is locating a new home due to the city's board stance on terminating our long-standing contract and forcing us out from a location that is home to us. Our approach is adapting and organizing new services that will guide our operations through the years ahead.



Mary's Adapting To Change

Mary's Kitchen services expanded through the years as we built relationships with like organizations, government agencies, churches, and health care providers. We organized these services for our guests/patrons regardless of eligibility. On-site eye and medical exams, dental, public mental health, and veterinarian assistance for those with pets are made available throughout the week by providers.

In association with "Terry Lue Outreach" a tent is set-up every 3rd Saturday's where nurses and doctors volunteer their time and offer on-site medical assistance check-ups. Mary's Kitchen is not just about feeding individuals, we provide a comprehensive range of resources for people with mental illnesses, educational and support groups, individual counseling, harm reduction, and prescriptions.

Face of an African American Homeless Man Outdoor



More people than ever before are becoming homeless in California as we face unsuspecting challenges. Mary's Kitchen continues to provide clothing, hot meals, showers, laundry and mail services. Help build lives and lift someone's future.

Make a difference.