Presbyterians spread love through monthly meals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 24, 2014

More than a year ago, local Presbyterians began a ministry to spread the love of Christ through food, and now the “Love They Neighbor Meals” is growing.

Throughout the year, free meals are served the second Saturday of the month from 8 until 10 a.m., and lunch is served the fourth Wednesday of each month, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Roger Powell, one of the organizers, said the lunch program is growing.

“We had more than a 100 last month, and I expect there to be at least that many today,” he said of Wednesday’s lunch.

The ministry offers dine-in and carry-out options.

Powell said they serve a broad demographic range.

“Many come early for the fellowship and stay the whole time,” he said. “We have a lot of regulars, but we get a few new faces.”

There are no questions asked and no paperwork or documentation required.

“We wait on everyone,” Powell said.

The menu varies from month-to-month, but Wednesday’s meal consisted of baked ham, roasted potatoes and more.

“The favorite meal is spaghetti,” he said. “Kelley Faulkner comes up with the menu.”

For breakfast, the ministry has been served 50 meals.

Powell said the ministry began last April after the idea of bringing a “soup kitchen” to Andalusia had been talked about for some time.

“Our board of deacons decided it was time to quit talking about it,” he said. “We felt called to do it and we got it together.”

Some 20 members pitch in for each meal to make sure things go smoothly, wait tables and prepare food and plates.

Powell said they have also received support from local civic organizations and a grant from the Presbyterians of South Alabama.

Powell said this ministry also serves to complement the rice and beans ministry at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

Powell said he’d like to challenge other churches in the area to step up and provide similar ministries on the other Saturdays in the month.

“It’s ‘soul’ food, not fast food,’” Powell said.