Community comes together over meals and breadPublished 3:17pm Monday, November 12, 2012
The menu for the first meal was pinto beans, mac and cheese, slaw and cornbread. To promote the meal flyers were left on porches, posters and word of mouth. Slowly increasing attendance the dream has become such a success that other local churches have become involved on alternate Saturdays to meet the demand of hungry residents.
New Testament Christian Fellowship Church, using the Landrum United Methodist kitchen facility, takes care of the first Saturday of the month, First Baptist of Gowensville handles the second Saturday of the month and First Baptist Church of Landrum the third Saturday.
“Now the Landrum area is providing a free meal every Saturday of the month,” Surface said.
Out of this ministry the Bread Ministry has evolved, as well as the “The Gifts In Kind Ministry.” John Mullen aka The Bread Man and his wife, Barbara, collect donated bread and bakery items seven days a week. In 2010, running out of room to store the donations church members financed the construction of a building adjacent to the Family Life building. Named ‘The Gift In Kind ‘ Building its walls are lined with eight donated freezers, shelving and large tables.
Also stored are paper goods, toiletries and diapers. For $500 a year the church joined an organization “Gifts In Kind.’ Church volunteers drive to Spartanburg once a week and have 30 minutes to collect these items with the stipulation that it all has to be given to the needy.
The day before each Saturday the Family Life building is humming with activity preparing to serve more than 1,000 meals. Groups work in the kitchen bagging cookies, setting up tables with decorations and putting out bread. The Bread Ministry and Community Meal opens at 4 p.m. People start arriving, by foot and car around 1 p.m. and by 4 p.m. the two parking lots are full with a people standing in line curving to the outside.
“This ministry has been a true blessing for us and we praise the Lord for this opportunity to serve him,” Surface said.