Giving Chef

Find out how Key Biscayne resident Maria Teresa Rosette uses her skills in the kitchen to feed the needy and make the world a better place — one meal at a time.
Text by Jacquelyn Benson | June 27, 2018 | People

Every Thursday morning, you can find Maria Teresa Rosette in the same place: the kitchen of Saint Agnes Church’s New Life Family Center, slicing and dicing to prepare meals for needy families and the homeless. “Those of us who live in Key Biscayne are very fortunate to live in such a wonderful place and to be surrounded by so many wonderful people,” she says. “Becoming involved in volunteer activities like this one is a great way to give back to our community and to help others who are not as fortunate.”
The New Life Family Center is located in the heart of Miami’s Design District, and provides temporary housing for displaced families while assisting them in finding employment and a more permanent place to live. Each week, Rosette and her team of volunteers are given funds by Father Hernando to purchase food, which they then prepare and hand out as delicious and healthy boxed meals to residents of the centers as well as homeless visitors.
Though Rosette began her work with the program as just another volunteer, she has since taken on the challenge of running the show. Along the way, there have been a few surprises. “What never ceases to amaze me is that sometimes those individuals who may appear to be in the worst shape — whether because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or in some other condition — are the ones who are most eager to help out,” she says. “They seem to be the most grateful for the work that we do.”
She’s also quick to share any praise she receives. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with an incredible group of people who have assisted me from the very beginning,” she says of the team of Saint Agnes parishioners who lend a hand with every aspect of the project, from purchasing food to helping in the kitchen. The program also receives a donation of baked goods every week from La Boulangerie and Starbucks in Key Biscayne, making it a true community effort.
To find out more about the meals program or to volunteer, contact Saint Agnes Church, 100 Harbor Dr; 305.361.2351;