The Fall and Rise of Mary’s Kitchen

This video chronicles the sudden demise of one of the last walk up service facilities and hot meals kitchen and pantrys left in Orange County serving the hungry and the homeless, at the hands of a darkly motivated Orange city council determined to evict Mary’s Kitchen, while blaming the victim, in advance of the real deal, to accommodate a massive trucking depot seeking to develop the property right next door to the kitchen. It’s a classic and yet another case of local government overreach and hubris at the expense of the unhoused of Orange County. It is also a story of the tenacious and beloved matriarch of Mary’s Kitchen, Gloria Suess, and her refusal to go down for the count. Fighting all the way, Gloria and her intrepid staff of volunteers have risen from the ashes of the city’s vicious attacks on the kitchen and ultimate eviction from Orange, to reinvent and rededicate itself to serving the hungry and homeless of OC.

About the author

John Underwood

John Underwood is a highly acclaimed community television producer and seasoned professional journalist. With a remarkable career spanning over 13 years, John honed his reporting skills at National Public Radio in Los Angeles. Locally, he made significant contributions as a reporter for OC Weekly and the Orange County Register.

When he's not diligently documenting the struggles of the homeless population throughout Orange County, John serves as the Production Coordinator for Los Alamitos Community Television. There, he passionately produces "Backstory," an investigative talk show that fearlessly addresses the most contentious issues of the day. His current documentary series, "No Fixed Abode," is a powerful exploration that amplifies the voices of Orange County's homeless community. John's dedication to storytelling and advocacy has earned him recognition as an award-winning professional in the field.

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