Dinner Delivery

October 22nd, 2012
This article is featured in the Outreach 2013 (Nov/Dec/Jan 2012-13) issue of Circuit Rider

A few years ago our men’s group wanted to do something special on Thanksgiving. They figured that they could cook up a meal and take it out to people they knew whose finances might not let them have a traditional Thanksgiving meal or who didn’t have much family around and so wouldn’t have cooked a traditional meal for themselves. Some of these people were a part of our own congregation and some were just ones we knew or heard about in the community.

Over the years we have served anywhere from thirty to forty-five meals on Thanksgiving, and we have varied how we have done it. Some years we have cooked it all, some years we have just ordered already cooked meals from the grocery store and other years we do some combination of the two. Depending on how much we cooked, or how much we ordered already cooked, and how many we are serving, it has taken anywhere from five to fifteen volunteers. It has been one small way for us to share the love of Christ.

Two years ago, we started serving a meal on Wednesday night to go along with our Wednesday night Bible study. As a group of us talked about what we could cook, we decided to include weekly meal delivery to some of those people to whom we had served Thanksgiving meals. We began by serving around fifteen shut-ins and others whom we know would benefit from not having to spend money on a meal.

On Wednesday nights, we always cook our own food, because it is cheaper than ordering out, and we ask the twenty to twenty-five people who eat at the church to pay five dollars, if they can afford it, for their meal. The five dollars that they spend on their dinner allows us to cover the cost of the meals we deliver as well as supplies like to-go containers and anything else we may need.

Over the past year and a half, we have started to deliver about the same number of meals that we serve at church on a Wednesday night and some nights even more. We have a dedicated group of about eight to ten people who either cook or deliver these meals. When we hear of others in the community whom we could share with, we try to contact them and ask if we can add them. If there are people in the church who have just come home from the hospital or we know would benefit from a meal, even if it is just for one Wednesday night, we try to make sure they get a meal as well.

When we have potlucks (and what church doesn’t?) we try to pack up a few extra meals and deliver them to people on our list. We already have to-go containers, so it is just a matter of taking the time to do it.

Our Wednesday night programs run in eight- and twelve-week segments, and since we don’t take out meals when we don’t have a Wednesday night meal at church, we have been trying to figure out how to stay connected with those we normally take meals to. So this fall we are going to start taking worship “to go.” We won’t make it to everyone’s house every week, but hopefully over a month we will get a chance to gather a group of four or five people in each home for singing, praying, and sharing. For those who can’t come to worship, hopefully this will be at least a little taste of worship with the body of Christ.

It is amazing that a desire to take some turkey and fixings to a few people to fill their stomachs and let them know they are remembered has led to our bringing the body of Christ to people so that their spirits can be nourished and they can know even more deeply how much they are thought of and loved.

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