Wednesday, July 7, 2010

REPORT: 2010 July Fall City Feed the Hungry Lunch

On July 6 and 7, the noble volunteers for our Feed the Hungry program prepped, cooked and served lunch to a record number of Food Bank visitors. Phil Halloran and Charlotte Parkinsons led the Piper Family in prepping the food that Tuesday night. I was unable to make it there that night so I didn't get any pictures of their hard work!

FCUMC workers and their foodstuffs
The next day, the volunteers at the Fall City congregation opened their church to us early as they prepared their food bank. I visited with several of them and congratulated them on what a great program they had. It is impressive that for such a small church they can have such a big impact. The visitors to the food bank were lining up outside. I recognized several of them from June and said hello and invited them to have lunch with us.

Right Before the Fun Starts
Back in the kitchen, our Church's crack crew of volunteers worked at getting everything ready. In this picture you can see Sue O'Donnell putting the beat-down on some vegetables. Lucinda Hauser is looking back at the camera. Charles Grant is hanging out. I didn't get a picture of them, but Delaney and Stacy were there also. They ended up entertaining many of the visiting Food Bank children with a water-fight outside.

Good work makes good company
Rachel Combs arrived just in time to staff a crucial short-order role in the back. I tried to talk her into joining Lynn and me as table hosts since she appears to have at least SOME Spanish but she insisted that her talents could best be used on the back-end in the kitchen. My Amy couldn't come this time (Casey had woken with a bad cold) so we were short the waitress position. We were saved when He sent us Lacey Leigh and her son Paul. She took the role of waitress and he, the busser. Lacey ended up being one of the busiest people there that day; she really worked hard.

Denise and Terra setting settings
I caught up with Denise and Terra as they talked while preparing place settings. I tried to edge in the conversation but they would have none of it.

Pastor Lee Carney Hartman stopped by (on her day off!) to lead us in another starting-gun prayer at 11:55am and then the race was on! The line was opened and family after family poured and began their march down the line of tables, selecting their cans and bags. When they reached the end, Pastor Phil, Lynn Ritthaler or myself, as table hosts, invited them to sit and have lunch with us. Most did. The ones who did not were the quiet ones who wore nice clothes and had a look of tension on their faces. I guessed that they were people who had only recently fallen on hard times and were still coming to grips with their situation.

If you look at the visitors as a whole its about 90% women and children. The children are a delight and I'm finding that you can often get a family to come and eat if you appeal to the kids: "come and have lunch!" I'd say. "You can sit with me and we'll eat my neighbor Sam's cookies, which are the BEST I've ever had." (oops, sorry Amy!). Also, the kids are more likely to speak English and translate for you.

We are SO LUCKY to have the opportunity to do this. Seriously. Feeding disadvantaged women and children? How awesome is that? Slam dunk if you ask me. Also, I know of at least two groups of our church members, one from the early service and one from the second service, who got to know each while working together this time. That is another excellent side-effect of this program and a reason that we should encourage new people to help in this. There's no better way to get to know people than by working with your hands together.

The Amazing Laurie Edwards moves so fast a normal camera can't keep up!
And of course you know who was there the whole time, quietly mitigating problems before they arose and conducting us all like an orchestra of His will? That's right, Laurie Edwards. I tried to get a picture of her but she moves so fast that my camera couldn't keep up. Laurie never agreed to lead this endeavor but she has been a key person at each and every step along the way.

Later, after the food bank closed and the volunteers sat down to eat, Laurie announced that we'd fed 62 people that day. One of the Fall City members said that was an all-time record for lunches served in the history of their program. They thanked us for helping them, and we thanked them for giving us the opportunity and being so open about sharing their ministry with us.

We have ONE MORE lunch in front of us August. We still need SERVERS, CHEFS and COOKIE-BAKERS. Please contact me if you're interested in signing up for August! After that we get to decide how we are going to go forward with this program!

I want to thank everyone who contributed this July!

1 comment:

Kelly Kyle said...

You guys and gals are awesome!!!! I hope I can help next Aug. Kelly Kyle